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Jinnah portrait row: AMU V-C tells students not to fall into trap of ‘certain forces’

In an open letter, the VC "fully endorsed" the students' demand for a judicial inquiry and also denounced the "excessive use of force" by the police

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 8, 2018 6:20:34 pm
Several AMU students are on an indefinite strike following a clash with the police on May 2. (Express file photo  by Manoj Aligadi)

Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor Tuesday urged the students protesting over the Jinnah portrait row to not let their studies suffer due to the unrest in the varsity. In an open letter to the students, he urged them “not to fall into the trap of certain forces which are bent upon destroying the image of our alma mater and are playing with your bright future”.

In his letter, the VC “fully endorsed” the students’ demand for a judicial inquiry and denounced the “excessive use of force” by the police. Mansoor said he was pained that a negative image of the university is being propagated through some channels of the media, using “half-truths”. “The AMU is suffering an assault from different quarters and it is even more important to respond with rationality and thoughtful action and not to be swayed by emotions,” he said.

Several AMU students are on an indefinite strike following a clash with the police on May 2 when they were demanding action against right-wing protesters who had entered the campus, shouting slogans. The prevailing tension in the campus led to calling off a function to grant life membership of the student union to former vice president Hamid Ansari and postponing of the exams, which will now begin on May 12.

The students are asking for a judicial probe into the “police inaction” and the manner in which a row erupted after a BJP MP objected to the portrait of Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, hanging at the AMU student union office. The university said portraits of all life members of the student union are put up on the walls of its office. Jinnah had also been given this honour before Partition.

A 16-member coordination committee of senior faculty members has been formed to help in engaging protesting students.

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