Tension prevailed on Monday as students and teachers of the morning shift reached the Aisha Bawany College premises and found it sealed again with the deployment of gunmen and security guards in and around the college. The students and teachers protested on Monday against the sealing of their college, which has not opened even after orders by the Sindh High Court (SHC) and chief minister.
Chanting slogans in protest of the sealing, the students attempted to enter the college premises, but private guards of the Aisha Bawany Trust resisted and police also reached the spot to disperse the students.
The college was sealed on Friday on the orders of a District South civil judge after being approached by the Aisha Bawany Trust, claiming to be the owners of the property, against the education department’s failure to pay rent of Rs50,000 to the trust for the last few years.
While protesting the decision to seal the college premises, a large number of students and teachers held classes outside the college building located on Sharae Faisal. According to the official record, there are around 2,400 students enrolled at the college, which was nationalised in 1972.
On the request of the education department, the SHC suspended on Saturday the civil court’s decision and ordered to de-seal the college, but all in vain.
“Aisha Bawany’s original trustees are not alive and some people using the names of the trustees want to sell this property to a builder who wants to construct a wedding hall. The rent is a lame excuse,” Karachi Colleges Director Muhammad Mashooque said, adding that police is protecting the management of the Aisha Bawany Trust and not executing the high court’s orders.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, taking notice of this issue, asked the officials concerned to implement the court order and open the college.
“Please open the college and report to me. We will not leave students alone in this situation,” he said to Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar.
Even the chief minister’s order was not able to bring tangible results. “We will establish the writ of the state if no one executes the court order,” said Dahar, adding that they will not let the Aisha Bawany Trust flout court orders.
On the other hand, a meeting was held at CM House where the CM’s spokesperson, quoting the chief minister said, “I will re-open the college and ensure the resumption of educational activities, come what may.”
Sources said that Shah ordered the IG and home and chief secretaries to open the college and take action against those creating hurdles.
Talking to media, South SSP Javed Akbar Riaz said police is not protecting anyone.
“The high court has not directed the police or district administration to reopen the college,” he said, referring to the judgment. He said they cannot take action until ordered to do so.
“On the first day, the sessions court bailiff approached the Saddar SHO with a court order to seal the college. So, the SHO complied with the order,” he said, adding that police is not party to anything and will serve as per the law.
Meanwhile, the additional advocate-general has written to the chief secretary, IG, home secretary and South DIG for the implementation of the SHC’s orders.