LUCKNOW: Right-wing activists and students came to blows on Wednesday at the Aligarh Muslim University following the controversy over the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s decorating the walls of the students’ union hall.
Over six students were injured as the police lathicharged and lobbed tear gas shells to control the situation.
Incidentally, Hamid Ansari was present on the campus as the AMU students union had planned to confer life membership on the former vice-president. Ansari has been a professor as well as the vice-chancellor of the central university.
Tension gripped the campus early on Wednesday, when a group of Right-wing activists thronged the AMU main gate shouting anti-Jinnah and pro-India slogans.
As per the campus sources, the slogan shouting mob burnt an effigy of Jinnah and tried to enter the campus.
But, the AMU security staff foiled their attempt. On getting the information, AMU student leaders rushed with sticks and a clash ensued. Police baton charged and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob. In the melee, AMU students caught hold of six activists and handed them over to the cops.
SSP Ajay Kumar Sahani and other police officers reached the spot, and police force and RAF were deployed on campus to avert any untoward incident.
Later in the day, the AMUSU members and students led by Union president Maskoor Ahmad Usmani protested the ruckus. They marched towards Civil Lines police station to get an FIR registered but the police and RAF stopped them using force. About half a dozen students got injured along with the union president in the police action.
“Now the situation is under total control and peaceful,” said Aligarh district magistrate M Chandra Bhushan Singh. However, students are said to be sitting at the AMU main gate demanding action against the Right-wing outfits.
Meanwhile, there were reports suggesting that Jinnah’s portrait was taken down but AMU
publicity in-charge Shafey Kidwai expressed ignorance.
‘AMU students need no patriotism test’
Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said, “Jinnah is neither an icon of India nor the ideal (role model) of Indian Muslims. The AMU administration and students are patriotic and there is no need to raise questions over their patriotism.” The issue should be resolved keeping public sentiments, he added.