Gold medalist PhD student expelled from Faisalabad university over Facebook post

FAISALABAD: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) has expelled a PhD student for criticising a university event in a post on Facebook.

Syed Kashan Haider Gilani, a gold medalist PhD student, criticised a musical event of the Kissan Mela 2015, organised by the varsity’s management, a source told The News Dispatch.

“I am in a dilemma for the past two to three days after observing the condition of Kissan Mela and how music concerts are depicting the true village lifestyle. How the teachers’ high impact factor would light the candle of knowledge sitting at stalls rather than in classrooms. The strength of foreigners was more than the farmers in the Kissan Mela,” read Gilani’s Facebook post.

A notification, issued by UAF’s Registrar Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain, claimed Gilani was involved in acts of “indiscipline and misconduct” under rule 3 of the UAF Act.

“You defamed the UAF and were involved in spreading wrong information and misleading students/community on social media in connection with Kissan Mela. You have also been involved in initiating an undesirable/unwanted derogatory, disrespectful debate about the university programme on social media. You have been involved in damaging repute and bringing bad name to the university,” the notification said.

Further, after Gilani’s expulsion from the university, the administration also barred him from entering the university premises and he was directed to vacate the hostel immediately.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Gilani said he was arbitrarily expelled from the UAF and was not given a fair opportunity to defend himself before any official body of the varsity.

The student demanded that he be provided an opportunity to explain his conduct as, he insists, the inquiry committee — appointed by the UAF administration under the chair of Dr Muhammad Ishfaq — did not consider his point of view, denying him justice and right of fair trial.

Gilani further revealed that he officially apologised to the university’s disciplinary committee but he was still punished. He also pointed out that a number of students commented on his post but no action was taken against them.

When contacted, UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan confirmed that he received a review petition against the decision of the disciplinary committee from the student today and said he would decide matter as per “codal requirements of the law”.

“I will decide what to do about the review petition keeping the norms of justice, equity and fair play in mind. Full justice would be given to the aggrieved student,” the VC asserted.

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