Aligarh Muslim University yet to take a decision regarding removal of Jinnah’s portrait

Aligarh Muslim University is yet to take a decision on removing the portrait of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah from its Students’ Union office, the Minister of State for HRD informed the Parliament on Monday.

The issue had created a major controversy in May this year.

“The students’ union has been dissolved and any decision on the issue can only be taken by the newly-elected union, when formed,” Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State for HRD said.

BJP MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam had objected to the portrait of the founder of Pakistan on the walls of the AMU students’ union office and written to the vice-chancellor of the university, seeking its removal.

Violence had broken out on the AMU campus on May 2 as the row over the portrait triggered a right-wing protest and sparring between two leaders of the ruling BJP.

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 in May.

ALSO READ: Students’ groups in Banaras Hindu University burn Jinnah’s effigy, say AMU is ‘Anti-National’

A function to grant life membership of the students’ union to former vice-president Hamid Ansari, scheduled on the same day, was called off and Ansari had to return to Delhi.

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!’

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