Reporters covering the controversy over the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) expelling students for Facebook posts that criticised its management were thrashed by the university’s guards outside its gate on Tuesday.
Yousaf Cheema, a reporter working with a private TV news channel, cameraman Qadeer and driver Irshad, were beaten up by the guards when they gathered outside the university’s gate on Jail Road to cover the issue.
“The guards also damaged the the TV channel’s DSNG van,” said Mudasir Nazir, another reporter.
Cheema said the guards attacked them when they asked the university management to allow them inside to prepare a report on the students’ expulsion.
“The guards and the employees of the UAF not only beat up our team but also damaged our DSNG van,” he added.
Waqas Sheraz, a reporter affiliated with another channel, and Express TV cameraman Usman were also injured by guards.
A video shows the guards kicking cameraman Qadeer, who is lying on the road and yelling for help.
“We rescued them [the media personnel] and provided them with first aid,”Rescue 1122 spokesperson Faisal said.
“The driver [Irshad] has been admitted to Allied Hospital while the cameramen are being treated at DHQ Hospital,” he added.
Police reached the university well after the guards had thrashed the media personnel, even though the city police officer and the regional police officer’s offices are walking distance from its gate.
UAF had expelled three students for criticizing the varsity’s administration on social media.
The university said in a statement that it had expelled Mohammad Asfandyar Jawaid, Zubair Iqbal, Ghulam Jillani after it was found that they were posting material against the UAF’s management on a Facebook page.
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