Students held for refusing to move to IT centre
22 October 2004
Gilgit: Police arrested at least 36 students of information technology on Friday when they refused to move to the new premises from the Karakoram International University campus and resorted to protest. Sources said that the over 60 students of IT project took hold of three KIU buses in the morning and stopped students and teachers of the KIU from going to the campus. They said a dispute had been brewing for two years between the university and the Northern Areas education department over the assets and funds of the IT project. The university claimed that it had inherited the IT project with the assets of the former Gilgit postgraduate college, which was merged into it in September 2003 but the education department had withheld the funds. KIU officials said they had run the project for two years and they could not continue it without the provision of funds. They asked the students to vacate the campus. Education department officials said the department was the de facto executing agency of the project and it had nothing to do with the defunct college. They said former KIU vice-chancellor Dr Azam Khan had merged the project into the university without the department's consent. They referred to a letter of the IT ministry, in which the department had been designated as the executing agency of the project and funds were put at its disposal. They said three IT projects, including a boys' centre in Skardu and a girls' project in Gilgit, were being run under the department. They said they could not transfer the assets and funds to the KIU without revising the PC-1 of the projects. They said that they had arranged a premises for a boys' IT centre in Gilgit and it was up to the students whether to move to the new location.