Students asked to submit written apology for celebrating Holi at Pakistan's Sindh University




Students at Pakistan's ​Sindh University who celebrated Holi on campus on March 8 were asked to submit written apologies for celebrating the Hindu festival, reported The Express Tribune.
Badar Soomro, chair of the university's mass communication department called for the apology. Ten students were made to apologise, four whom were Hindu and the remaining Muslim, revealed Sindh's Vice Chancellor (VC) Fateh Muhammad Burfat.
University officials have opened an inquiry into whether the request was a disciplinary issue or a discriminatory one. Burfat said action will be taken against Soomro if religious discrimination was grounds for the request.
"Sindh University has the highest number of Hindu community staff and students compared to any other university. They all work and study together with Muslims with utmost harmony," Burfat is quoted as saying by the Tribune.
The incident became known after Raja Deepak's affidavit, one of the students made to apologise, was circulated all over social media. "...Those were the days of Holi and friends threw colours of Holi at each other as is the tradition. But this was wrong according to the university's law and because of which our department's ID cards were taken away," read the affidavit in Urdu, according to the Tribune.
Soomro, a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, reportedly told the VC that the students did not seek permission to have the celebration on campus, which is a requirement by the university. The action, he claims was strictly taken to "maintain administrative discipline", not "deny religious freedom".
However, some students who disagree and believe it is based on religious discrimination, told the Tribune that the rules had only gotten stringent of late. "When we were new in the university, we saw our seniors celebrating Holi and other religious or cultural activities with complete freedom," a student is quoted by the Tribune as saying.
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