AMU Jinnah portrait row: Internet services suspended, AMUTA seeks President Kovind’s intervention – Top updates and developments

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New Delhi | Published: May 4, 2018 9:33:59 PM

The Aligarh district administration on Friday imposed the suspension of internet services in and around the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus.

Aligarh Muslim University (Photo: PTI)

The Aligarh district administration on Friday imposed the suspension of internet services in and around the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) campus. The move comes after the students decided to boycott the classes for the next five days in a way to protest against the inaction of police on them. “There will be no internet services from 2 pm today to 12 midnight tomorrow,” district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh told news agency PTI. According to Bhushan Singh, the move has been done to prevent rumour.

For the three days in a row today, the varsity students held a dharna and offered prayers where teachers and other faculty members also participated. AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor has visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital to take stock of three injured students who are still admitted. Later, the Vice-Chancellor also visited the dharna site and expressed solidarity with the students.

The Teachers’ union of the University (AMUTA) has sent a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind to “urgently institute” a high-level judicial probe into the entire incident. Najmul Islam, the AMUTA Secretary told news agency PTI that they have urged the President Kovind to treat the issue seriously as it involved a breach in the security of former Vice-President Md Hamid Ansari.

The heavy police force and a contingent of Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in Aligarh to prevent any untoward incident. “The situation in Aligarh is under control. We are watchful and will not let any untoward incident take place,” Om Prakash Singh, the Director General of Uttar Pradesh Police told ANI.

Meanwhile, a protest was also organised near Uttar Pradesh Bhawan in the national capital. The students from Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi University and JNU have participated, reports CNN-News18.

The controversy was regarding the portrait of Mohammed Ali Jinnah that was hanging for decades at the student union’s hall inside the Aligarh Muslim University campus. The varsity students have said that they were not in favour to remove the portrait because of its historical importance. The student union had also given a life membership to Jinnah before 1947.

On Wednesday, a violence was broke out between Hindu Yuva Vahini, a right-wing organisation and the university students which prompted the police to fire teargas shells. At least 20 students were injured due to the firing following which over hundred students organised a dharna in front of Baab-e-Syed gate. Heavy police deployment and a contingent of Rapid Action Force were placed to maintain law and order.

Breaking his silence for the first time on the issue, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said that the man who was behind the partition of India can’t be given a place of respect in India. The CM had also sought a detailed report from the university management and assured that he will look into the matter.

Earlier this week, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam writing to the varsity’s Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor demanding an explanation. In his letter, the BJP leader asked him of the compulsion behind installing a photo of the man who had played a key role in the partition of India in 1947.

Gautam said he doesn’t know where the picture is displayed in the university but questioned why it is there. He said that after partition, there is no justification for the display of a photo of Pakistan’s creator. Satish suggested to the VC that if they indeed wished to display a portrait, they should install photos of great persons like Mahendra Pratap Singh who had donated the land for setting up the university.

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