March 7, 2023
By Rehan Piracha
Around 30 suspects were briefly detained in connection with clashes between students celebrating Holi festival at Punjab University in Lahore.
Videos on social media showed Hindu students being thrashed for holding Holi on the campus while other videos show varsity guards beating fleeing students.
According to Lahore police the clash occurred between two rival groups and was unrelated to the Holi festival, Information Minister Amir Mir told Voicepknet. He said police briefly detained members from the two groups in order to break up the clash, he added. The information minister said police later released the detainees and filed no case.
Organisers of the Holi function, Sindh Council claimed that activists affiliated with Islami Jamiat Tuleba threatened participants after they posted invitations on social media. It said prior permission was sought from the university over holding the Holi function at the University Law College on the campus, which has a sizeable number of Hindu students from Sindh.
Following the clash, the Sindh Council said the students later gathered to protest outside the vice chancellor’s office but were forced to disperse when the security guards baton-charged them.
Former opposition minority lawmaker Lal Malhi condemned the attack on Hindu students. In a tweet, he said the incident has spread insecurity among minority students studying in the university.
In a clarification, the university spokesperson claimed no clash occurred over celebrating Holi. He said protesting students were dispersed by security guards but no students were injured in any incident. In a tweet, the IJT also refuted any involvement of its members in the clash.