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AMU Students Sit on Dharna, Vow to Boycott Classes, Demand Arrests in Jinnah Portrait Row

The protesting AMU students said on Thursday night that they will continue to agitate at the campus until justice is delivered.

Deepa Rana | CNN-News18

Updated:May 3, 2018, 11:52 PM IST
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AMU Students Sit on Dharna, Vow to Boycott Classes, Demand Arrests in Jinnah Portrait Row
Aligarh Muslim University's Women's College joined in the protest along with other university students on Thursday. (PTI Photo)
Aligarh: A day after violent clashes and police action rocked the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus, thousands of students sat on a dharna outside the university gate in front of which their friends were beaten up on Wednesday. The students declared on Thursday that they will boycott classes till Sunday and also demanded the arrests of the Hindu Yuva Vahini activists and others who were allegedly involved in the violence.

Situation at the AMU campus, however, remained "under control" on Thursday with no untoward incident being reported from anywhere, authorities said. The students however said that their protests will resume at the Baab-e-Syed gate again on Friday noon.

The protesting AMU students said on Thursday night that they will continue to agitate at the campus until justice is delivered. Talking to News18, AMU Students’ Union President, Makshoor Ahmad Usmani said the union now demands a judicial probe into the matter. The students further demanded an immediate transfer of SSP Aligarh who was incompetent in providing security to the former vice president. The union have also demanded that the university and the Vice-Chancellor must also clear their stand on the issue.

“No incident was reported since Wednesday evening but a heavy deployment of police and RAF personnel were seen at strategic points around the campus,” Aligarh DM, Chandra Bhushan Singh told PTI.

The administration is keeping a strong vigil to prevent trouble-mongers from creating a law and order situation, Singh said.

He added that the district administration held a meeting with AMU V-C Prof Tariq Mansoor and some alumni and sought their cooperation in helping restore normalcy in the campus.

After a day of protests and violence, an eerie silence descended over the campus on Thursday even as hundreds of student protesters gathered at the Baab-e-Syed gate, the scene of yesterday's violent incident in which around 20 students were injured in police action.

Violence broke out at the university on Wednesday after some protesters belonging to Hindu Yuva Vahini and other right-wing outfits tried to barge into the varsity premises demanding removal of a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah displayed on the campus.

Wednesday’s violence prompted a massive security deployment in the area on Thursday as policemen in large numbers and a RAF contingent were deployed near the Baab-e-Syed gate to maintain law and order.

While the rest of the injured students were discharged after first aid, three of those with serious injuries are admitted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College hospital. According to a hospital official, all the three students are out of danger and recovering.

Mazin Hussain, one of the AMU students who were injured during the clashes, said, “We were leading a peaceful protest to the local police station against some outsiders who came along with a BJP leader with illegal weapons. The police lathicharged students and we were hit on our heads too.”
The AMU Students' Union (AMUSU) alleged that violence on the campus was a "deliberate and pre-planned attempt" to attack former vice president Hamid Ansari, who was at that time barely 100 metres away at the university guest house, from where the violence erupted.

"Our protest will continue indefinitely till the police takes action against those who were actually targeting the former vice president who had come to the AMU where he was to be granted a life membership of the Students' Union," the AMUSU said in a statement issued here.

President, AMUSU, Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani, who was also injured in the police lathicharge, said the students would approach the National Human Right Commission "with the help of all secular organisations of the country" if all doors to justice are closed by the state government.

Meanwhile, a spokesman of the varsity strongly condemned the "trespassing" by Hindu Yuva Vahini activists who were raising "highly objectionable and inflammatory slogans".

"We hope that the state government will take strong action against the Hindu Yuva Vahini youths who deliberately tried to disturb peace on the university campus," he said.

The AMU Teachers' Association (AMUTA) held an emergency meeting on Wednesday night and passed a resolution stating that HYV’s action was a "deliberate criminal conspiracy" in which the police instead of punishing the aggressors, indulged in "brutal action" against the students, who had later collected at the gate to protest the failure of the police to prevent the outsiders from entering the campus.

It has demanded that an FIR should be lodged against those who "masterminded the entire operation".

(With PTI inputs)

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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