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Protests continue at AMU: ‘Next stop Delhi’

On the sixth day of the protests on the AMU campus, a march by over 1,000 students to the district magistrate’s office was halted at Bab-e-Syed entrance of the university.

Written by Amil Bhatnagar | Aligarh | Published: December 14, 2019 6:23:30 am
new citizenship law Protests continue at AMU: ‘Next stop Delhi’ Police stand guard outside AMU in Aligarh, Friday. (PTI)

AS PART of ongoing protests against the new citizenship law, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students will stage an agitation at Jantar Mantar in Delhi in the coming days. On the sixth day of the protests on the AMU campus, a march by over 1,000 students to the district magistrate’s office was halted at Bab-e-Syed entrance of the university. Police said they had to do “light pushing and shoving” to control the crowd.

“A large crowd had gathered and the effort was to ensure no untoward incident takes place. There has been heavy deployment since Tuesday, which is expected to continue tomorrow (Saturday) also. The protest was concluded peacefully,” said Anila Samania, Circle Officer, City 3rd.

As the march was stopped, the DM reached the campus and received a memorandum from the AMU student union. The letter, addressed to Chief Justice of India S A Bobade, requested the new citizenship law be declared “unconstitutional and illegal”. It said the CAB was targetting a particular community and that it would threaten the “secular” fabric of society.

“Our next stop is Delhi where our voices against the new law will be amplified,” said Salman Imtiyaz, outgoing president of AMU Student Union.

Several students from across courses also boycotted examinations that are on till December 18. The protest saw participation from faculty members as well.

“We even had people from teacher’s association and medical fraternity. The movement will not stop. We have boycotted exams and dining halls,” said Imtiyaz.

One company of Provincial Armed Constabulary and a platoon of Rapid Reaction Force is currently deployed. The police had been equipped with water cannons, plastic batons, tear gas shells and horses.

The district administration has blocked Internet services in Aligarh since Thursday midnight.

It had denied permission to BSP leader and Mayor Furqaan Ali, who wanted to hold a protest against the passage of the citizenship bill, District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said. Deputy Inspector General of Police Parminder Singh said no protester would be allowed to move out of the campus.

University proctor Afifullah Khan said both the university and district authorities, along with senior members of the teaching staff, played a “commendable role in ensuring that the protest remained peaceful.”

Later, the university teachers’ association AMUTA also held a march and handed over a memorandum, addressed to the Prime Minister, to the authorities, saying, “We urge the President, Prime Minister, the CJI to take necessary steps to withdraw the Citizenship Act and proposal for NRC as they run counter to India’s rich history of pluralism and guarantee of equality before law.”

The memorandum also says, “We want to see the nation strong and vibrant and this can only be achieved if justice and merit are protected.” AMUTA Secretary Prof Najmul Islam said the AMU community was “shocked and in agony” because of the alleged violation of the Constitution under the above citizenship law.

(With PTI inputs)

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