Days after the Students Coordination Committee of Aligarh Muslim University demanded the resignation of top university officials following the violence in the campus on December 15, Proctor Prof Afifullah Khan on Tuesday resigned from his post. However, he did not specify any reasons for his resignation.
AMU spokesperson Omar Peerzada said Khan had resigned “voluntarily”. “Accepted the registration tendered by Professor Afifullah Khan from the post of Proctor with immediate effect on his own request,” a statement by AMU Joint Registrar Minhaj A Khan said.
The Executive Council of the varsity has appointed Professor Mohd Wasim Ali of the law department as the new Proctor. Speaking to the indianexpress.com, Wasim Ali said his priority would be to reach out to the protesting students and the only way to restore normalcy in the campus was through dialogue.
“I will reach out and interact with the students who are boycotting the classes and examinations. A majority of the students, who are career-oriented, are willing to end their boycott and return to classes and sit for the examinations. I will take into account their demands and problems and persuade them to call off their agitation. There is no magic solution to solve the crisis. This is the only priority for me now,” the new Proctor told indianexpress.com.
Students have been protesting against the alleged police action on AMU campus on December 15 last year, which had led to six students suffering injuries. The alleged crackdown happened during a protest by students of the varsity against police action at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi during the anti-Citizenship Act (CAA) protests.
Even as the university reopened on January 13 after it was shut on December 15 following protests against the alleged police action, the students have been boycotting classes, leading to examinations being postponed.
Professor Wasim Ali said the protests were very nominal now and only a few “misguided” elements were opposing the holding of examinations.
“Already exams have been delayed due to the boycott and it will be rescheduled soon. Only a few misguided elements are opposing it. The top administration, from faculty-level to the chairman and dean, everybody are trying to reach out to the students and convince them,” the proctor said.
The Students Coordination Committee has been demanding the resignation of top university officials on “moral grounds” for the alleged police excesses on campus. Committee spokesperson Faizul Hasan told indianexpress.com the Proctor’s resignation was “a positive step” but they won’t back down until the Registrar, Vice-Chancellor and Dean (Students Welfare) also put in their papers.
“After 51 days of protests, only one demand has been met. The resignation of the Proctor is a positive response. We won’t end our agitation until the other top three officials resign. The Registrar and V-C did not do anything when police entered the campus and thrashed the students,” Hasan said.
The protesters are also demanding the withdrawal of “false” FIRs lodged against them during protests against the police excesses. Last week, AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor made a “final appeal” to the students, urging them to call off their boycott of classes and examinations.
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