UAF admin section: Students assert opinions for ‘free speech right’

FAISALABAD: More cases of action against students by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) administration over ‘social media comments’ have come to fore.

The UAF has penalized three students — two face expulsion for good and another student for one year –on the allegation of posting comments on social media against the university administration.

Arbaz Hassan of BSc (hons) Agriculture PBG 6th semester has been rusticated from the university for one year as he has been found guilty of “damaging repute and bringing bad name to the university, unethical behaviour, teasing and using filthy language with university female students and sending/passing false comments on social media to them.”

Besides, Ahsan Safdar and Mubashir Ali Hashmi of Tunnel Farming Diploma have been accused of “disrespect of the university through social media, trying to initiate an undesirable/unwanted debate on media and damaging repute and bringing bad name to the university.” Both have been expelled from the university and a notification was issued on May 31 last.

The university had recently expelled Muhammad Isfandyar Javed of MSc (Hons) agronomy (2nd semester), Zubair Iqbal of MSc (Hons) plant breeding and genetics (2nd semester), Ghulam Jelani of MS management sciences (4th semester) and Umer Bilal of MSc horticulture (2nd semester) on the allegations of “spreading undesirable comments/remarks against the university administration on social media, misleading and trapping the students community and defaming, damaging repute and bringing bad name to the university.”

They were expelled through two notifications issued on June 6.

Some students told Daily Aftab that the university administration had been monitoring the social media accounts of students to suppress their voice. They said the administration wanted to put curbs on free speech and had taken extreme steps against some students to make an example.

They said the freedom of expression right is guaranteed by the Constitution and the university administration seems to have no qualms about violating it. They have appealed to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the chief justice of Pakistan to look into the issue and help the students pursue their education in a conducive learning environment.