Aligarh, May 5: Raking up the row over the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah at Aligarh Muslim University, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sudhanshu Trivedi said people who are supporting the display of Jinnah’s portrait on the campus are the same who stood with terrorist like Afzal Guru. “People who are standing with Jinnah today, are the same people who stood with terrorist like Afzal Guru. It is unfortunate that certain people are standing by the side of a person (Muhammad Ali Jinnah) who was responsible for the division of this country,” Trivedi was quoted as saying by ANI.
The local district magistrate ordered the suspension of internet services in Aligarh from 2 PM on May 4. Section 144 was also imposed in the district to maintain peace and prevent “rumour mongering”. The order will be in force till Saturday evening.
On Thursday, 28 students and 13 cops were injured in a clash which broke out between AMU students and the police. As per the media reports, as many as 3,000 protesters gathered at the main gate, Baab-e-Sayyad, of AMU, seeking a judicial inquiry against Hindu groups who barged into the campus and clashed with the students on Wednesday. AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) has sent a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding a high-level judicial probe. On the next day, several were left injured in the clash with police.
Furthermore, the protest has also been joined by the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Allahabad University and Jamia Millia Islamia.
The row started after local BJP MP Satish Gautam wrote to the Aligarh Muslim University authorities, asking why a photo of Muhammad Ali Jinnah was still on display at the varsity. Questioning its presence on the campus, he said there was no justification for displaying a photo of the man who was responsible for the creation of Pakistan. “If they really want to put pictures, they should display photos of great men like Mahendra Pratap Singh who donated land for this institution,” Gautam said.
Meanwhile, the university said portraits of all life members of the student union hang there. Jinnah, a founder member of the University Court, had also been given this honour before Partition.