Aligarh, May 5: Tension abounds at Aligarh Muslim University as students from other universities converged on the campus on Friday to mark their protest against the row over the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the varsity. Media reports suggest as many as 3,000 were agitating at the AMU’s main gate, Baab-e-Sayyad, seeking a judicial inquiry against the Hindu groups who barged into the campus and clashed with the students this Wednesday. AMU students have been protesting since and many were left injured following a clash with the police on Thursday.
A DNA report says that students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Allahabad University and the Jamia Millia Islamia have joined the protest. It says that a crowd started building around 1.15pm and the 3,000-strong gathering offered Friday prayers. It adds that teaching and non-teaching staff of AMU also joined the protest. Academic activities on the campus were to remain suspended for three days and the protesters said they won’t relent until their demands were met. They said they had written to the Vice-Chancellor over the same.
Among their demands were the suspension of Civil Lines police station SHO and a magisterial inquiry against BJP MP Satish Gautam for trying to communalise AMU’s environment, said AMUSU Vice-President Sajad Subhan.
Around 3pm, several hundreds of teachers also took out a protest march from AMU Staff Club to District police headquarters. They handed over to ADM (city) SB Singh a memorandum addressed to the President mentioning students’ demands. V-C Tariq Mansoor, meanwhile, met the agitating students and also those recuperating at the hospital after Thursday’s clashes.
While sources said that the varsity administration had contacted the HRD Ministry and asked for a judicial inquiry, AMU PRO Omar Peerzada said, about the photo row, “It’s a part of AMU’s history. Whether good or bad, history cannot be erased.” As per AMU’s tradition, the students’ union grants honorary membership to prominent members of society and pictures of these members, including that of Jinnah, are put up on its office walls.