Jinnah portrait row: Aligarh Muslim University alumni brave rough weather to protest against right-wing attack on varsity

Despite the rain and strong winds, close to 100 former students of the university staged a sit-in in a lane opposite the FICCI auditorium at Barakhamba Road.

Published: 14th May 2018 12:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2018 12:41 AM   |  A+A-

The Aligarh Muslim University this week saw violent clashes and protests over the portrait of Pakistan’s founder decorating the walls of students’ union hall | pti

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Braving the dust storm and rain that hit the national capital today, the alumni of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) gathered here in the evening to protest the attack on the students of the institute, allegedly by members of the right-wing Hindu Yuva Vahini group.

Despite the rain and strong winds, close to 100 former students of the university staged a sit-in in a lane opposite the FICCI auditorium at Barakhamba Road.

Members of the alumni association of the Jamia Millia Islamia as well as the Jawaharlal Nehru Unversity (JNU) also joined the "silent protest".

Holding placardsm, denouncing the attack on the university and its students, the AMU Old Boys' Association (AMUOBA) and others alleged that the incident was politically motivated to disrupt communal harmony.

AMUOBA president Irshad Ahmed, while speaking to mediapersons, sought a judicial enquiry into the attack earlier this month over a portrait of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah on the university campus.

They also demanded the suspension of the police officers who allegedly assaulted the students when they had gone to lodge an FIR against the attack, allegedly by the Hindu Yuva Vahini.

According to sources, about 20 students were treated for injuries suffered due to police action to disperse AMU students.

The alumni association demanded quashing of the FIRs lodged against the university students and action against the "actual culprits".

General secretary of the association Mudassir Hayat, who was also present at the protest, said the May 2 attack had nothing to do with Jinnah's portrait as it had been hanging there since 1938.

He alleged that it was an attempt to disrupt the function to grant life membership of the students' union to former vice-president Hamid Ansari.

The event had to be called off due to the incident.

If the portrait was to be removed, there was a proper procedure and protocol to be followed for that, Hayat added.

The protest that started at 5 pm went on till about 7 pm.

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