Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday ordered the Aligarh Muslim University authorities to allow girls full access to its central library.
Calling it a case of gender-based bias, the Allahabad High Court had earlier issued a notice to the AMU Vice-Chancellor Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah, who had triggered a controversy by saying that granting access to undergraduate girls would invite "four time more boys" to the Maulana Azad Library.
The High Court issued notice amid reports of the university bowing down to massive pressure and informing the Union Human Resource Development Ministry that a request by the Women's College students to access the central library is under consideration.
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani had also termed the Vice-Chancellor's remark as an insult to women.
The row began when Gen Shah turned down a demand from students of Women's College for access to the university's Maulana Azad Library, saying that there would be "four times more boys" in the library if girls were allowed in.
He later said that his statement was misinterpreted and sensationalised.
Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla said that such statements coming from the head of an institution are "shocking". Congress leader Rashid Alvi too condemned the statement, adding that it was "disrespectful" towards women.
The Women's College Students Union president Gulfiza Khan said that instead of imposing restrictions on girls, the college authorities should introduce safety measures. She urged the university administration to facilitate extra ambulance services with round-the-clock medical services, extension of library and high speed Wi-Fi on the college campus.
However, after the issue triggered a national debate, the Women's College Students' Union and the AMU Students' Union held a joint protest march on campus slamming the media for its "biased" reporting on the issue and asked the HRD Ministry to stay away from the issue.