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Seven journalists injured in attack by students during protests

(PPF/IFEX) - Shahzad Anwar, Vice president of Multan Press Club and chief photographer of the daily "Pakistan Akhbaar" and six other journalists were injured in a clash with the students of state-run Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU). The students were protesting outside the Press Club, in Multan, a city of Punjab province in Pakistan.

According to press reports, around 200 students from the BZU veterinary department had been protesting for their summer vacations to be announced but the head of the department had yet to issue a notice in this regard. The students were also protesting the fact that the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council (PVMC) had not yet accredited their courses even after a passage of five years. They blocked the traffic and did not pay heed to appeals to end the blockage.

Anwar told Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) that he had only asked them to let the cars pass because one of the passengers was a heart patient, but they refused and started arguing. The students became furious and hurled bricks and stones at the press club, damaging the building and several cars.

Seven media persons including Ayaz Ali Sheikh, photographer with the daily "Sang-e-Meel"; Iqrar, a cameraman with Samaa TV; Zafar Iqbal, reporter with Naya Daur; Zafarul Islam, chief photographer with the daily "Din"; Suhail Qureshi, cameraman with Apna TV; Tariq Nazir Chaudhry, cameraman with Dunya TV; and Shahzad Anwar, photographer with the "Daily Pakistan Akhbaar", sustained injuries. Ayaz Ali Sheikh and Iqrar were rushed to Nishtar hospital.

Jahangir Moon, 60, the coach of Multan Cricket Club and associate member of the press club, who was injured as a stone hit him in the head, was also moved to the Nishtar Hospital where he later died.

Anwar also told PPF that he called in police officials who arrived only two hours later. They arrested 36 students involved in the attack including Aamir Rafique, Muhammad Nasir, Tayyab Iqbal, Muhammad Suhail, Rashid Ali, Hasnan, Ali Hasnain, Ashraf, Faisal, Muhammad Waqas, Sabir and others. The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Malik Yousuf and Cantonment police officer Rizwan Ahmed Yousuf assured the journalists of a thorough investigation of the incident.

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