Saturday, February 2, 2008

Students Raise Fund for Jan10 Blast Victims

1st Feb, Friday - Students belonging to LUMS and the Students Action Committee raised over Rs. 190,000 for the vicitims of the Jan 10 bomb blast outside GPO. Today, the money was delivered to Aftab Sultan, AIG Punjab Police, responsible for Finance and Welfare. The money will now be equally disbursed between the families of the 16 servicemen and 3 civilians who lost their lives at the Jan 10 bomb blast. Students expressed grief over the loss of lives of both policemen and civilians and urged all people to stand together in trouble times. Officers of the Punjab police welcomed this gesture and said that they were deeply moved by it.

Background: In the immediate aftermath of the Jan 10 bomb blast, at the initiative of the student action committee, a Fund was set up to help out victims' families and to express solidarity will all victims.. Around Rs. 194,000 were raised, primarily from the LUMS community. This gesture is particularly meaningful when seen in the light of recent events. LUMS community, which remained at the forefront of civil society's resistance to martial law, has recently been subjected to harassment by the state, ranging from unlawful arrest of LUMS professors, siege of the campus on Nov 7, heavy police presence at the LUMS gate throughout November and lodging of a false FIR against LUMS professors and the President of its Student Council.

Despite all this, LUMS students and faculty member chose to express solidarity and sympathy with the deceased, mostly policemen, and to condemn illegal violence

The students reiterated that while they vehemently criticise acts of state oppression (like the
assault on the judiciary, besieging their campus and lodging false FIRs), they harbour no enmity against ordinary people compelled to follow orders by their need to earn a living. Also, they condemn all illegal acts of violence against citizens and ask that, in these troubled times,
people stand together.

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