AMU denies Jinnah portrait link to students’ protest, demands judicial probe into May 2 violence

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New Delhi | Published: May 9, 2018 12:06:47 PM

On May 2, violence between AMU students and activists of right-wing groups had rocked the university, forcing the cancellation of Hamid Ansari's event where the students' union was slated to confer a lifetime membership on him.

Tariq Mansoor, AMU, Jinnah portrait, Aligarh Muslim University, Jinnah portrait rowAligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor today said that an indefinite dharna by the university students has no link to the controversy over the presence of Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait inside the campus. Speaking to news agency ANI, he said that students are demanding a judicial probe into the violence that rocked the university on May 2 due to which the event where former Vice President Hamid Ansari was to be honoured with a lifetime membership of the student’s union was cancelled.

“Students’ agitation had no relation to Jinnah portrait row, they were protesting against people who came to AMU to disturb peace on May 2,” the VC said, adding that he has spoken to the UP Chief Secretary for a judicial inquiry into the incident.

“Jinnah’s portrait has been here since 1938. Jinnah’s portrait is at many places including Bombay HC and Sabarmati Ashram. No one was worried about the portraits until now, I think it is a non-issue,” he added. On Tuesday, the VC had in an open letter to students urged to return to the classes and prepare for exams.

Professor Shafey Kidwai, who also is an AMU spokesperson, told FinancialExpress.com that the dharna by students has no connection to the row over Jinnah. “On May 2, goons of right-wing outfits barged into the university campus in a bid to disrupt peace and cancel an event to honour Hamid Ansari. Students are demanding a judicial inquiry into the violence.”

Kidwai further claimed that when students went to police to file an FIR against the “right-wing goons”, they were lathicharged by the cops.

Kidwai also lashed out at BJP MP Satish Gautam for leaking the content of the letter before it was delivered to the AMU authority. He said that leaking the letter to media well in advance was a part of a larger conspiracy to cancel the students’ union event.

When asked about university’s stand on Jinnah’s portrait, he said that the university has received the BJP MP’s letter and will respond accordingly.

On May 2, violence between AMU students and activists of right-wing groups had rocked the university, forcing the cancellation of Hamid Ansari’s event where the students’ union was slated to confer a lifetime membership on him.

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