Lucknow, May 3: As many as 28 students and 13 policemen were injured in clashes at Aligarh Muslim University late on Wednesday. The students were on their way to the police station in protest against an agitation by some Hindu groups outside the varsity a day ago when the clashes broke out. They were demanding a ban on Hindu groups and alleged they were targeted by police.
AMU PRO said that the students were carrying out a peaceful march and wanted to know why protesters from Hindu groups were let off without an FIR being registered against them and why they weren’t stopped before they reached the varsity. Police baton-charged the students and also used tear gas, the PRO said.
A report in The Indian Express said members of RSS-affiliate Hindu Jagran Manch had tried to storm the campus on Tuesday to force the university authorities to remove the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah from the Students’ Union Hall. Speaking about Tuesday’s incident, Aligarh SSP Ajay Kumar Saini said, “Around eight to 10 workers claiming to be from some right-wing organisation arrived at the university gates and allegedly tried to force their way into the campus demanding removal of Jinnah’s portrait. The university proctor informed us that the group assaulted the university guards and were trying to enter the campus.” He said they also torched Jinnah’s effigy before they were chased away by police.
In protest, AMU students began stepping out. They got aggressive when stopped by the police and began pelting stones. “We then resorted to cane-charge and use of tear gas,” he said.
The AMU has informed the Centre and the state government of the incident. AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) asked the Centre to order an impartial judicial inquiry into Tuesday’s incident. It has reportedly also written to the Centre how “Instead of taking action against criminal aggressors, AMU students… were re-victimised by lathi-charge.’’
The Jinnah row was sparked by BJP MP Satish Gautam when he wrote to the varsity V-C seeking removal of the portrait.