LUMS Students protest killing of their fellow
Early morning on April 20, at about 4:00 am, a group of three drunk men, driving in ecstasy through empty lanes of DHA Lahore, lost control of their Land Cruiser and crashed into a car on the other side of the road after knocking down a lamp-post and tumbling over the road divider. The incident happened at Club Chowk near H-Block Market and resulted in the sad demise of Waheeb Alam, an undergraduate student of 2010 batch at LUMS (Innalillah-e-wa-inna-ilaihe-rajioon). Waheeb and his two friends had been out driving their Cuore to have an early morning breakfast when a speeding four-wheeler in good speed slammed into their unfortunate vehicle.
Waheeb sccumbled to injuries, dying on the spot, while both of his friends were injured of whom one was in a serious condition. One of the accomplices driving the Cruiser fled the scene while the other two were held and later arrested by the Police. Considering the fact that the perpetrators had a very influential background, immediate steps in collection of evidence and registration of an initial FIR were delayed unnecessarily by the Police authorities. This led to a protest demonstration by hundreds of LUMS students who blocked the one-way road at Club Chowk to demand immediate filing of the FIR and securing original evidence without tempering.
Students were later joined by the LUMS Vice Chancellor, Mr. Ahmad Jan Durrani, Dean Suleman Dawood School of Business, Mr. Shaukat Brah and several other university faculty members. Negotiations with the authorities continued for about six hours during which students ignored continued requests by the Police officials to end the sit-in and move back to university campus until their demands were fulfilled.
A few important demand points included:
– An assurance by the Police that evidence should not be tempered or distorted
– Official blood sample reports of the accused be produced and shared with the students as soon as possible
– The third accomplice should be arrested within 24 hours of the incident
As the wait for blood sample reports prolonged, officials informed the protestors that the reports will be produced within two weeks time. Infuriated, the group of students peacefully moved from Club Chowk to the main Masjid Chowk blocking one-way lane in front of the masjid.
Later intervention of the higher authorities and visit of the PML (N) MNA from the constituency Khawaja Saad Rafiq paved way for the peaceful dispersing of the protesting crowd. The assurances made by Mr. Rafiq included a resolve to bring justice to the family of the deceased soul as soon as possible in the form of arrest of the third man, delivery of blood sample reports within an hour (at 5:00 pm) and transparency and urgency in the whole process.
Overall, students of this institution made sure to stand by Waheeb’s family in their hour of grief as they peacefully campaigned and protested to get the responsible party duly charged and arrested.
We pray for our fellow Waheeb Alam’s deceased soul (May Allah grant him peace and salvation), his family and for the speedy recovery of his injured friends. Please join us in condemning use of influence and power by those who cause innocent deaths and then easily escape from the grips of law.