LAHORE – On the third consecutive day on Wednesday, hundreds of the students of Punjab University, studying in evening and replica classes, staged a protest demonstration on the Campus Bridge and expressed their disappointment over what they alleged discrimination in provision of free laptops by the government.

Chanting slogans against the Punjab Government, the students complained that the evening shift and the Self-Support Programme students were subjected to the worst discrimination by the rulers in the shape of their denial to give them laptops.

Later, adviser to CM on Higher Education Zaeem Qadri held talks with the students and assured them that they, too, would get free laptops. These talks, however, failed as Mr Qadiri could not agree with the students on the provision of the laptops jointly with their morning shift colleagues.

The students vowed to continue their protest till March 23 (the day when laptops are to be given to students most probably by the chief minister) and also threatened that they would create rumpus during the distribution ceremony. The protest led to traffic jams at Canal Road and adjacent roads.

Meanwhile, Zaeem Qadri presided over a meeting to review arrangements regarding distribution of laptops at the auditorium of Institute of Bio-Chemistry and Biotechnology. PU VC Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, member syndicate and MPA Khawaja Imran Nazir and senior faculty members attended the meeting. The meeting was briefed regarding arrangements regarding the ceremony which is going to be held on Friday March 23. On the other hand, sources alleged that Punjab University is spending a huge amount of Rs 30 million on the distribution ceremony. They said Finance and Planning Department of PU issued an office order on March 19 which says that Rs.30 million would be spent on distribution ceremony’s arrangement. According to office order, Rs.15 million would be spent on catering, Rs.5 million for printing of banners and placards, Rs.2 million for sound system while Rs.0.6 million for music arrangements while Rs.0.875 have been fixed as misalliance expense.

While commenting on the issue, PU Registrar Dr Raas Masood Khan said that he was aware about the office order issued by acting treasurer Mohammad Sharif Khan. He, however, said they had not estimated that how many amount would be spent on the laptop distribution ceremony.