LAHORE - Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran Tuesday said that the Islami Jamiat Talba had sheltered the Al-Qaeda operative arrested from the varsity hostel last Saturday.

Talking to media, he said a list of telephone numbers of the IJT office-bearers, jihadi literature and books were found from the room where the accused was residing. The VC was of the view that the alleged terrorist stayed at Hostel No 1’s Room No 237. He said the university administration could get rid of the illegal elements residing in the PU hostels if the law enforcement agencies cooperated.

The VC said that about 7,000 students were residing in the 26 hostels and no such incident took place in the varsity except the recent arrest. He said that about 75 FIRs had been lodged against the miscreants during last three years, but no one took action against them. “If police arrest any miscreant, his backers manage to get him free,” he lamented, adding that according to his information, five armed illegal persons were residing in Khalid Bin Walid Hostel. He suspected these elements could have been involved in the fire incident in the hostel.

He said these armed persons are also involved in violence against teachers and varsity staff. “Currently, we are giving them message to leave the hostels; otherwise we would take action with the help of police.” He said the varsity administration had also written a letter informing the Cabinet’s sub-committee regarding the issue. He said the Provincial Law Minister had directed police high-ups to cooperate with the PU administration in this regard.

Meanwhile, PU Academic Staff Association, a teachers’ body, demanded the government to take action against the illegal residents of PU hostels. ASA office-bearers Dr Ehsan Sharif, Javed Sami, Dr Mehboob Hussain, Dr Mehmood Akhtar, Naeem Ullah, Dr Mohammad Akram and Malik Zahir Ahmed said that the IJT had resisted the operation against illegal hostel residents in the past.

At a news conference Tuesday, they said that the room, used by the Al-Qaeda operative, was allotted to IJT Nazim Ahmed Sajjad. They said Sajjad was also involved in threatening and thrashing the teachers and varsity staff. They demanded the CM Punjab, Governor and IG Police to take notice of the issue and launch operation against the criminal elements involved in polluting the peaceful atmosphere of the varsity.

Separately, IJT PU Nazim Abdul Muqeet said the varsity administration has been exploiting the issue to defame the Jamiat. He said the IJT has never supported such elements. He said they do not believe in underground activity. “We believe in peaceful democratic revolution. The administration is blaming us just to hide its failure,” he said adding the IJT is a patriotic organisation with an ideology of preaching religious teachings among the students.

In a statement issued here, Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Liaqat Baloch said the IJT is a law-abiding organisation and does not believe in unlawful pursuits. He said the PU administration is levelling baseless allegations against the organisation only to hide its own weaknesses. He said the IJT had formally announced its alienation in regard to the persons recently arrested from the university.