Months after violence erupted over a portrait of Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah hanging at Aligarh Muslim University’s students’ union office, Parliament was told Monday that AMU was yet to take a decision on the portrait’s removal. HRD Minister of State Satya Pal Singh said this in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, news agency PTI reported.
“The students’ union has been dissolved and any decision on the issue can only be taken by the newly-elected union when formed,” Singh said.
The controversy was stoked in early May after Aligarh BJP MP Satish Gautam wrote to AMU Vice-Chancellor seeking removal of Jinnah’s portrait from the campus. Some Hindu Yuva Vahini members later barged into the campus demanding that the portrait be pulled down. A function to grant life membership of the students’ union to former vice-president Hamid Ansari, scheduled on the same day, was called off and Ansari had to return to Delhi.
Ansari had later questioned the “precise timing” of the protests in AMU and the “excuse manufactured for justifying it”.
Several people were injured when the police lobbed teargas shells to disperse the AMU students demanding the arrest of those who had barged into the campus shouting slogans.
The Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union (AMUSU) leaders sat on an indefinite hunger strike demanding a judicial inquiry into the violence on the campus. The V-C, Tariq Mansoor, too, had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh in this regard.