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As AMU Reopens Today, VC Seeks Security for Himself, Family Citing Threats From 'Lumpen Elements'

File photo of protests against the Citizenship Bill at Aligarh Muslim University.

File photo of protests against the Citizenship Bill at Aligarh Muslim University.

The Aligarh Muslim University was closed early for winter vacations from December 16, a day after students clashed with police during a protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act on campus.

Aligarh (UP): Professor Tariq Mansoor, the vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), has sought from the state authorities extra security for himself and his family before the university reopens on January 13, citing threats from "lumpen elements and outsiders".

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was closed early for winter vacations from December 16, a day after students clashed with police during a protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on campus.

The university was to reopen on January 6 but the vacation was extended owing to persisting tension over the changes in the citizenship law. It will reopen in phases starting Monday. The vice-chancellor (VC) has written a letter to the state authorities, including the director-general of police and the home secretary, asking for extra security for himself and his family in view of threats posed by "lumpen elements and outsiders, including some rusticated students.”

“The students are like children and I have full faith in them. But there (sic) some anti-social elements, including those rusticated and others on bail for criminal charges, who are instigating students to attack me. They are calling me an RSS/BJP member and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) supporter. There are also social media posts that call me 'traitor' and ask for my social boycott,” Mansoor said in his letter.

The letter, which was marked as 'secret', has somehow been leaked in the media, sources said. Later, Mansoor said in a statement that he has no problem if "students exercise their democratic rights by holding peaceful protests" against any legislation which is rankling them.

His concerns, the V-C said, were regarding those people who might mingle with the students and give a violent turn to the peaceful agitation.

Copies of the letter were sent to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, Director General of Police, Personal Secretary to Home Minister and the HRD minister, besides the Commissioner and District Magistrate.

Meanwhile, the AMU Teachers Association (AMUTA) passed a resolution on Saturday urging the VC to take necessary steps to ensure that "false and exaggerated charges" levelled against students by police after the December 15 violence are withdrawn.

AMUTA secretary Najmul Islam on Sunday said this would help restore normalcy on the campus. He said teachers would support the protesting students in their movement against the CAA, provided it is peaceful and democratic.

first published:January 13, 2020, 08:30 IST