On Friday, a Baloch student at Punjab University (PU) was taken into custody by police and plainclothesmen from the New Campus gate. This led to rallies and protests from Baloch nationalists, students, and human rights advocates.
Fareed Husain Baloch, a member of the Baloch Council of PU and an eighth-semester BS Education student, was stopped by two police officers and two civilians as he was leaving the campus through the main gate, according to CCTV footage that has been making the rounds on social media.
The student tried to run away and resisted the arrest, according to the video, but the police beat him up and took him into a private vehicle. When the police and plainclothesmen entered the campus to arrest the student, the PU security personnel remained silent.
The student was being held at the Garden Town Police Station when the Baloch Council office bearers arrived. They informed that they were not given permission to meet the student or told why the student had been arrested by the police.
They said they were afraid that the police would use the student as collateral in a made-up case because no one in the legal system was willing to inform them of the arrest.
On social media, the student’s arrest provoked criticism. The Progressive Students’ Collective expressed their severe condemnation of Fareed Baloch’s abduction from Punjab University in a social media post. Such behaviors are inappropriate and interfere with the pursuit of education.
According to sources, “Pashtun and Baloch students have been verbally and physically assaulted by police personnel at universities in Lahore over the last few days, with at least two students reportedly being forcefully disappeared.”
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan expressed its extreme worry over these incidents. In Punjab, students from KP and Balochistan continue to be particularly susceptible.
The practice of using ethnic profiling on students needs to stop. Equal access to education is necessary for all students, free from intimidation and compelled disappearances.
Ammara Sherazi, the superintendent of police (SP) for the Model Town Division, and Shehzad Rafique Awan, the SP investigator, were not available for comment at this time.