ISLAMABAD                -            Mystery shrouds National University of Science & Technology (NUST) where administration assured an ‘investigation’ on alleged rape incident reports but also denied any incident.

Officials said that earlier hostel timings of female students were restricted few months back when another unpleasant incident had taken place, but later university administration relaxed it.

“It is possible again administration will restrict the girls’ hostel timings as continuous meetings are being held after the alleged rape incident was reported on social media,” said the official.

Officials and students also said that though the occurrence of the incident is being kept mysterious but the victim student allegedly was residing at ‘Ayesha hostel.’

Officials also said that hostel girls were gathered and strictly ordered not to speak on any of the incident. “Individual meetings were also arranged in girls’ hostel by the administration,” officials added. 

However, some of the students informed The Nation that the incident occurred but the university covered it pressurising the students.

Meanwhile, students also said that university administration has strictly directed students and particularly female students residing in hostels to remain tight lipped on the situation.

The university administration on Thursday conveyed all female students residing in hostels through inside campus internet system (CMS) to gather for rector’s address on the issue.

“Nobody is allowed to carry cell phone inside Jinnah Auditorium for Rector’s Address,” said the message conveyed to female students.

One of the students in her 6th semester talking to The Nation said that female students were strictly ordered in September and once again now not to discuss the issue at any forum.

Meanwhile, a male student said that all social media accounts of the enrolled and former students are being monitored and no one wants to speak about the incident.

“Students are afraid of commenting on the situation as their degrees will be cancelled by the administration,” he said.

The Nation contacted Director Marketing and Communication Rabia Shoaib, who is also monitoring social media of the university, and sent her queries but she did not reply till filing of this story.

Earlier, the university administration in its official response on social media website stated that “We fully understand our valued audience’s sentiments on the sensitive subject and are receptive to your suggestions.”

It said that “Please rest assured that an investigation has taken place and so far no victim has come forward, nor has been reported, during the ongoing investigations. Also, have faith that there will be no cover-up as is being insinuated.”

It said that “We reiterate that we take the safety of our community very seriously, and encourage information regarding any such incident to be shared with the management, with complete assurance of confidentiality.”

The statement said that up till now, our investigations find the news unsubstantiated, but if any National University of Science & Technology student or employee has information about such an incident, please share with us at report.us@nust.edu.pk.

We will personally take all necessary steps to ensure that any offenders at NUST are strictly dealt with. We assure you that we have zero tolerance for harassment and will not let our grounds be unsafe, said the statement.

Meanwhile, Women Democratic Front (WDM) in its statement on the issue said that the increasing reports of sexual violence on-campus and university administration’s continuous efforts of actively hiding these incidents are alarming.

WDF demands that sexual harassment committees be formed immediately in all universities and educational institutes in the country. Universities should ensure students representation within these committees.