Protests grow at AMU over Jinnah portrait controversy as students from JNU, Jamia, Allahabad University join

The students are demanding an inquiry into BJP MP Satish Gautam for allegedly communalising the campus.

Protests grow at AMU over Jinnah portrait controversy as students from JNU, Jamia, Allahabad University join
The students are protesting near the main gate of the AMU. (Picture: PTI)

Students continue to protest outside the main gate of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) pressing for a judicial inquiry into BJP MP Satish Gautam for allegedly communalising the campus environment. The protesting students have been joined by representatives from a number of other prominent institutions from across northern India.

Twenty-eight students were injured in a lathi charge by the police. The protesters have been joined by student representatives from varsities like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia and Allahabad University on Friday, DNA reported.

Around 3,000 students offered Friday prayers at the protest site. They were also joined by teaching and non-teaching staff of the AMU. Representatives of the AMU student union said they had met Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor and urged him to formally take up their demands.

The students union's demands include the suspension of the Station House Officer of Aligarh's Civil Lines Police Station, and a magisterial inquiry into BJP MP Satish Gautam. He had barged onto the campus on Wednesday and created a ruckus. They were demanding that a portrait of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah be removed from the office of the AMU students union.

University officials however pointed out that the AMU students union had a tradition of bestowing an honorary membership on legal and political luminaries, and that it was the accepted practice to hang the portraits of the honourees in the students union office. 

"It's a part of AMU's history. And, whether good or bad, History cannot be erased," a senior AMU official said.

Sources said that the AMU administration told DNA that the varsity has contacted the Union Human Resource Development Ministry and demanded a judicial inquiry in the matter. AMU vice chancellor Mansoor stayed away from the protest site, but visited the students who were injured in the lathi charge at the hospital.

 

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