LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry summoned the Education Secretary on Tuesday in the suo motu case regarding police torture on protesting students and teachers outside the Punjab Assembly building.
The protest of December 8 was staged after the Punjab government announced to establish boards of governors in 26 public colleges of the province to run their administrative affairs.
During today’s hearing, the Punjab government’s lawyer told the court that the proposed boards were meant to maintain discipline at the educational institutions and that the measure would, in no way, result in a rise in the students’ fees.
Meanwhile, Additional Advocate General told the court that teachers at the institutes were running their private academies in the cover of government jobs.
Justice Ejaz subsequently sought a detailed report on the relevant institutes.
He further questioned that if the boards have to reinstate discipline at colleges then what job is the Secretary Education performing.
Moreover, the police, in its report submitted to the court, said it tried to prevent students and teachers from damaging public property.
Justice Ejaz then remarked that the police had the right to stop the protesters, not to beat them.
On December 8, hundreds of charged students and teachers took to the streets to protest the formation of boards of governors in 26 colleges of the province, apprehending it will lead to privatisation of educational institutions.
The protest had, however, turned violent when the agitators entered the Punjab Assembly premises and the guards and police tried to push them back. The ensuing clash between the two sides, during which police resorted to severe baton charge, left at least 10 protesters injured.