Police, Hindu Yuva Vahini launched joint assault on AMU, say students

photo credits: The Wire

Hindu Yuva Vahini while demanding removal of Jinnah’s portrait shouted slogans like ‘Vande Mataram, Jai Shri Ram!’

Police and the Vahini members came back with ‘reinforcements’

On Wednesday, dozens of Aligarh Muslim University students were injured after ‘armed’ members of the Hindu Right wing group Hindu Yuva Vahini entered the campus with alleged police backing.

They were demanding that a portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, should be removed from the Students’ Union Hall.

The portrait in question has been hanging there since 1938.

The incident took place hours before the former Vice President of India Hamid Ansari, who has also been the vice chancellor of the university, had to attend an event.

According to a report in the Wire, 30 activists of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, accompanied by uniformed policemen, came to Bab-e-Syed – the central gate of AMU. They shouted slogans like ‘We will not let such respect for Jinnah pass in India”, “If you want to remain in India, you must say Vande Mataram’, “Vande Mataram, Jai Shri Ram!’

The report also mentions that the cops ‘pretended’ to stop the Vahini activists around 50 yards from the main gate of the University. In the meantime, the members of the Students’ Union and other students gathered at the gate and a mild altercation ensued.

Around six Vahini members were handed over to the police however according to the students, no report was filed and they were let off.

The report mentions that police and the Vahini members came back with ‘reinforcements’. The students said that what followed was a cane charge on the students by the police and stone pelting by the Vahini members.

Scores of students were injured in the action including the president of AMUS, Maskoor Ahmed Usmani, secretary Mohammad Fahad, and former vice president Mazin Zaidi.

A student of the varsity, Sharjeel Usmani, in a Facebook post said that what happened in AMU had nothing to with the Jinnah Potrait. He said that ‘Sanghi goons were there to attack Hamid Ansari’.

In another post Usmani, lashed out at the mainstream media for reporting the event without checking facts.

Meanwhile, the AMU teacher’s Association in a statement has strongly condemned the ‘deliberate criminal activity carried out by aggressors who came from outside the university at the main gate.’

They have also demanded a judicial time bound  inquiry into the matter so that the perpetrators are brought to book.

In a reaction to the incident, famed Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar while saying that it’s a ‘shame’ that the portrait of Jinnah hangs at AMU, he added that those protesting against it, should also oppose the “temples made to honour Godse”.

Meanwhile, quoting the a professor of the university Shafey Kidwai, The Quint reported that Jinnah was a founder member of the University Court and was granted life membership of the student union.

“Traditionally, photographs of all life members are placed on the walls of the student union,” he said.


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