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Monday, June 24, 2024  
17 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Aurat March Lahore appalled by women harassment at university

Stresses need for ‘well thought out’ sexual harassment policies

The Aurat March Lahore was dismayed on Friday over reports of women being “spied on, harassed, and blackmailed” at a university in Punjab.

“Islamia University Bahawalpur’s ex-head of security was caught with multiple videos of female students and staff on his mobile phones,” the organisation for women’s rights tweeted.

Their reaction came after a section of media reported that police officers of Bahawalpur’s Baghdadul Jadid police arrested the chief security officer of Islamia University Bahawalpur after allegedly discovering drugs in his possession, along with alleged obscene content linked to the university’s female officials and students on his mobile phones.

The Aurat March alleged that all such incidents were happening while the Higher Education Commission has insisted on more cameras on campus to make the university campuses “safe”. It was of the view that the varsity administration’s decision to set early curfews for women hostels only limits their mobility, employment and freedom.

They added that such policies do not make campuses secure.

It stressed the need for well-thought-out sexual harassment policies that are implemented without victim-blaming women students.

“Universities need to show genuine concern for student welfare, not just concerns for their own reputation. Universities must look beyond dispelling responsibility to surveillance and look towards cultivating a safe campus for all students.”

Meanwhile, a Twitter page titled The Islamia University of Bahawalpur shared a statement associated with VC Shehzad Ahmed Khalid.

Though the statement described the developments apparently following the arrest as a campaign against the varsity, it said that the IBU according to the policies of HEC has “zero tolerance” against drugs and harassment.

“The university will hold any faculty member or officer found involved in these acts accountable,” it said.

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Islamia University Bahawalpur