Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim University VC Zameer Uddin Shah met leaders of BJP and ABVP as a controversy brewed over the birth anniversary celebrations of Raja Mahendra Pratap, a freedom fighter who had made contributions to the institute.
The meeting was held late last night in a cordial atmosphere at the residence of the vice-chancellor, a senior university official said here on Wednesday.
The talks centred around the issue of alleged inadequate acknowledgement by the authorities to the contributions made by Raja Mahendra Pratap's family to AMU and the reported use of objectionable language by some leaders of the AMU Students' Union against HRD Minister Smriti Irani at the last week's installation ceremony of the newly elected students' body.
Local BJP leaders including MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam had earlier this week announced that the party would hold a protest demonstration on the AMU campus on December 1 on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap.
Referring to last night's meeting, an AMU spokesman said, "It has been decided that a public function to commemorate the 128th birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap will be held near AMU City School on the same piece of land which he had donated to the university during his lifetime."
"This plot is located outside the university campus near Masoodabad in the old city adjoining AMU City High School. The public function is being organised by AMUSU," he added.
The spokesman said that Raja Mahendra Pratap was not only an alumnus of AMU but a great freedom fighter too. He was closely involved in the Silk Handkerchief Movement (Reshmi Roomal Tehreek) with the leading Muslim clerics of that era including Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan, Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi and Maulana Barkatullah.
The spokesman said AMU was established with the help of a large number of public donations and the authorities never hesitated to acknowledge these contributions.
"The present controversy is uncalled for and ill conceived. The AMU VC has appealed to all concerned not to politicise this issue," he said.