The exam boycott at the Aligarh Muslim University continued on the fourth successive day as students blocked the entry points of the varsity’s women’s college and formed a human chain to prevent teaching staff from entering the college campus at Marris Road, news agency PTI reported.
“While a section of the girls are ready to end the deadlock and resume attending classes, some others are still refusing,” a university official told PTI. Police has also been posted at the gates as a precautionary step, the official added.
The protesters are demanding the withdrawal of “false” FIRs lodged against them during protests against the police excesses at Jamia University campus on December 15. The university was shut down after that and was reopened on January 13, but the students have been boycotting classes since then.
AMU spokesman Omar Peerzada, however, said some classes were held for the first time to end the impasse after Professor Sufiyan Beg, principal of the engineering college, assured the students that their demands raised during Wednesday’s meeting between AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor and the protesting students would be considered favourably.
He also said that the problems would be resolved “after discussing the matter with senior university officials on Thursday.”
On Wednesday, AMU Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor made a “final appeal” to the students, urging them to call off their boycott of classes and examinations. “I appeal to all my students whose future is foremost on my mind, not to fall prey to rumours, propaganda spread by vested interests and to appear in the examinations and attend classes,” a statement issued by the Vice-Chancellor read.
“If the examination and classes are prevented from being held by some misguided elements, there will be no justification of keeping the university open and allowing 23,000 students to sit idle on the university campus,” Mansoor said, adding that even parents of the students would not want their wards to remain on the campus without academic activity as law and order issues could arise.
He also said that the university administration has rescheduled the leftover examinations from January 27, but some misguided persons, including outsiders, are not allowing examinations to be held.
On Monday, college authorities were forced to cancel an examination after a group of students blocked the entrance to Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology. Over 600 students were scheduled to appear for the exam.