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NUML rector snatches cell phone from female teacher

By Sher Ali • Feb 9th, 2010 • Category: Misc • 3 Comments

The uproar over public beating of a professor in the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) got deeper on Monday when the rector of the university snatched the mobile phone from a female teacher, accusing her of making his video.

The reports that the rector was behind Thursday’s public beating of a professor at the hands of Brig (retd) Obaidullah Ranjha, gained credence as he reconstituted the inquiry committee excluding a highly respected female civilian teacher, Dr Sohaila, and inducting two retired brigadiers into the committee. Moreover, he turned a deaf ear to the academic staff’s demand of sacking Brig (retd) Ranjha or at least placing him under suspension.

Meanwhile, the academic staff, in defiance of the long-standing restrictions on their legitimate right to form an association, made history on Monday when they constituted the academic staff association to wage a joint and concerted campaign against the brigadier.

The battered professor was being forced into submission by senior government officials, with the Islamabad district administration spending the whole day to locate him and then escort him to a place for handshake with the Brig (retd) Obaidullah Ranjha under TV cameras blitz to mislead the people as if patch-up has been brokered.

The NUML witnessed another disturbing incident Monday when the rector, Brig (retd) Aziz Ahmad Khan, snatched the mobile phone from a lady teacher in the midst of a hurriedly called meeting in the university’s director general office. “Do you want me to resign? Tell me precisely,” the rector said as he was trying to calm down the academic staff without committing any action against Ranjha. The academic staff did not demand his resignation but action against Brig (retd) Ranjha. Brig (retd) Aziz then headed towards a young lady teacher playing game on her mobile. “You’re making my video. I’ll see you,” he threatened as he snatched her mobile phone. The academic staff protested over this dictatorial style.

DG NUML, when contacted to confirm, said he heard something happened but he was out of his office at that time. Shaista, the lady teacher, had her mobile switched off. The rector when contacted refused to say anything on this incident.

No investigation has so far been carried out into Thursday’s incident. Instead, the inquiry committee formed on Friday has been reconstituted. A highly respected professor, Dr. Sohaila, has been dropped from the committee. She has been replaced with two retired brigadiers serving in the NUML - Brig. (retd) Allah Bux and Brig (retd) Siraj Ahmad.

According to informed sources the rector, before reconstituting the inquiry committee, was insisting on transforming it into a fact-finding board. As the head of the committee, Kamran Jahangir who is also DG NUML, refused to preside over such a toothless board with no clear-cut mandate, the rector was forced to rename it as fact finding-inquiry board but he succeeded in including two retired brigadiers in the newly formed committee. The rector refused to comment when The News contacted for his version and merely said: “I don’t know.”

The newly formed academic staff association vowed not only to bring the public beating of their colleague to logical conclusion but also to take up their issues of common interest in future. Although the university has been closed for one week, the association has decided that the academic staff will come daily to hold protests until the basher-brigadier is removed from his position.

The staff association noted with concern the involvement of interior minister Rehman Malik in the matter instead of the education ministry and the presidency. Rehman Malik has been vigorously pursuing the case, though the issue doesn’t fall under his jurisdiction. The Islamabad administration remained busy all day to locate the professor and escort him to some place as desired by the interior minister.

Rehman Malik was not available for comments but deputy commissioner Islamabad said the district administration is bound to do as directed by the interior minister. Asked why the ministry and the city administration were meddling in the affairs that come under the purview of the education ministry, he said only the interior minister could explain this.

By Umer Cheema at The News

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3 Responses »

  1. prof. tahir is a 6″2, in his late thirties and retired brigadier is hardly 5″7 and an old man in his late 60’s.
    Got the comparison,how the hell is it possible for brigadier to beat him, was the professor handicapped..?
    A lot of questions need to be answered?
    What was prof tahir doing staying after the closing of university, (university was closed) discussing politics, making personal remarks inciting and that too in the very office of Dr mehmood?
    Was it not a personal fight between two individual who were discussing politics, with definite and strong stand points and (if it is true at all) that things went overboard?
    What was the necessity to convert a personal conflict into a political issue?
    Were a lot of security protocols not violated in case of inviting the guests who were no commoner, but known and imp person that required some assurance of security? (it is a blessing that nothing went wrong)
    Was it not pre-planned the invitation of the guest, and was the manipulation and distortion of the facts not aimed at?
    Was it not that more than once prof had made some very personal and insulting comments on the ex-registrar and that too sayz the Dr mehmood in his testimony?
    Acc. to Dr mehmood’s testimony (on a humorous note) after being beaten malik (prof) went to ranjha and said the most historic thing, “Sir, you are like my father, you can beat me more”
    If he was such a symbol of forgiveness why so much pomp and show later over asking for forgiveness from ranjha, resignation etc?
    and also would prof tahir would be as kind to explain if ranjha was like a father to him, would he ever ask for a public apology from his father, or humiliated him or asked for him to resign?
    This all story seems pretty fishy to me, nothing fits together.
    And all the justifications for defending the president, who by the way is quite legitimate and accepted already with or without the support of malik, and definitely he doesnot require to be defended by a prof. who cant defend his very self? and stands himself beaten for a while.
    were so many facts not spin-doctored, and distorted in media, making him a heart patient which he was clearly not, at least not uptill now, stating that every one saw it although the number of witnesses were only countable on the fingers of one hand only, and their very reliability is questionable, also because of their very close association with the prof?

    ok, prof. should not have reacted by kicking back but at least he could have saved himself, or was it that the brigadier first tied his hands, and his legs and or made him to faint and then kick him.
    What about so many people, no one could protect him? where was there conscience at that time? or was it that there were infact no witnesses at all,meaning it all could be an insider’s plot. No Students witnessed the actual event happening, the only 4 witnesses according to the testimony of DR. SOHAIL MAHMOOD WERE himself, and 4-5 others and no students at all.
    Was it just a staged play?
    and then he was discussing politics, had made personal remarks on ranjha himself,unfairly critisizing and insulting army and not just one indivisual.
    Not all fingers are alike and generalizing about army, because of one army person that too, retired is illogical. is as illogical as saying that all doctors are murderers or negligent in their duties,just because of criminal negligence of one doctor from ‘doctors hospital’.
    Now if a doctor reads this do explain how does this statement sound like to you,
    “Doctory is an institution of severe criminal negligence and murder”
    it feels irrational and awful, now imagine someone shouting at the top of his lungs, the same very things to you and more over and over and over, how would you feel? defensive and harrassed and pushed to the wall.
    perhaps if someone has lost a brother, or a father or a husband in the army, its because they were protecting us.
    We sleep sound because assured are we of men at our defense. our very own protection.
    A wife or a mother or sister of a shaheed does not want to hear that their loved ones sacrifies had been of no relevance to us because we are thankless, and beleive we are better off.
    and of all the people the very builders of a society, shouting hideous and shameless remarks just for his own politics, the prof. certainly stands out, because he is an exception, and exception that represents seeped in playing dirty politics, within the very fabric of the noble profession of Teaching. and some exceptions better be taken seriously for the damage it may cause is often tooo collateral. Since a retired brigadier or even a serving one has very little to spoil and with all the checks and balances but a nation cannot afford to have its young minds, distorted, indoctrinated and corrupted, by an exception because in such an occurance the nation will be at risk from the very inside.
    May Allah have mercy on all of us.

  2. This was only an act to destroy the air of an otherwise peaceful university.. I wonder how many universities have had absolutely no history of unrest among students and teachers.I guess many people now have their dreams come true. So Congratulations to them! After reading the testimony of Dr Sohail Mahmood, I can only ask that being the Head of Department and an advocate of the highest order of PEACE AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT, is this the way to handle an issue that arises in your department. If two people fight in your department (a department that is hardly 5 years old), do you call students to rescue you? Do you tell your subordinates to climb on the gates and scream on top of their voices? do you call press to give a bad name to the very university you call yourself a sincere employee of…I always thought that your workplace was your second home.. Even an 8 year old would never say that his parents had a fight.

    Anyone who has followed the incident with a tiny bit of common sense would realize that a drama of such a high impact was created only to benefit some individuals who are now so proud to call this whole scene the “freedom of speech”, “humanitarian action against voilence”.. or whatever popular name you want to give it!

    I agree with the comment above that I have spent a considerable time of my academic life in NUML and I feel that it is time that we teach our next generation that this is not the way to MANAGE ANY CONFLICT! The coward professor should not have shielded himself through the minds of students. They are still in their formative years, This is not the time for them to raise slogans and miss the precious time they have for their studies. It is the responsibility of the adults who have spend a lot of time in their professional lives to handle their matters themselves. We all know that we are responsible for our own deeds and we will be answerable only for our responsibilities. So as students, we are very well aware of our responsibilities and we will never be answerable for what the administration and faculty are fighting about!

    I am afraid that this incident will have long lasting effects because once a political chaos starts in an institution, the integrity of the entire institution is put under risk. It is the duty of both, the teachers and the students to try and control such situations!

    I believe that we are a nation of people with big hearts. Hearts to forgive eachother and move on. These things are too petty to even discuss during lunch time. I am a hundred percent sure that the negative image portrayed of NUML are the thoughts of only a few people.

    May Allah bring peace in the hearts and minds of this University’s Administration, The Faculty and most importantly the Students!

  3. Its another example of Dictatorship at NUML, which has been a money making machine for several years by its deceitful policies.I know a student graduated from NUML who was late for depositing his final thesis University charged him three full semesters fee for penalty of being late which he was unable to pay.He has done MBA but still have no degree.His career has been ruined only for being late at depositing his final internship report.This is a disgrace of noble proffesion

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