The clashes between members of the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) and Baloch students at the Punjab University in Lahore is yet another instance where the IJT has stepped way beyond the lines all students must abide by. The conflict started over an event organised at the university, with conflicting reports; members of the IJT claim that the Baloch students were attempting to disrupt an event while those attacked claimed they were doing nothing to antagonise the organisers of the event.

Even if we accept the statement of IJT as fact, students cannot resort to violence under any circumstances, no matter the disturbance caused. IJT students have been caught beating up students on camera yet again. The fact there were separate groups beating up individual students tells us that the IJT, which vastly outnumbers any other student groups, is clearly the aggressor once more. Instead of looking to defend their actions, if members of the IJT even had an ounce of shame, they would look to expel violent members from their group, instead of protecting them by deflecting from the issue as they have been on this occasion.

The reason this keeps happening is because the IJT is not much different from a mob legitimised by the powers that be on the campus; terrorising students and making them adhere to IJT’s own (ridiculous) code of conduct is commonplace. The IJT can come up with any number of excuses, but it doesn’t change the fact that all the violence in Punjab University can be directly attributed to this group. A student group given powers over others is more likely to abuse this power, given that it has no restrictions or control over its actions. The only way to stop the IJT from torturing students and using violence on campus is if all the perpetrators are caught and brought to justice.

However, the only way to achieve this is if other students and the teachers on campus band together against the IJT, which has already started happening. Students protested the actions of the IJT on Thursday, and it is hoped that the administration of the university actually starts taking this issue seriously. University campuses ideally promote inclusion, diversity and freedom of thought. The IJT prevents any of this from happening. It is time that the university administration and the government take strict action against IJT and its members for promoting violence on campus. If the group cannot control its members, then it does not belong on campus.