A TOTAL of 20 Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students were booked by the police in the past 48 hours for allegedly violating CrPC section 144 that was imposed across the city in the wake of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill being tabled in Parliament. They were also booked on charges of clashing with the police Tuesday, when several students took out a ‘torch procession’ in protest against the CAB.
Students continued their protest Wednesday and launched a 24-hour hunger strike. They also claimed to have boycotted academic activities, but the university administration denied this and said examinations and classes were held as scheduled on the day. The administration also maintained that there was clam on campus.
“Apart from the 20 students, more than 500 unidentified persons have also been booked for gathering without permission as a large demonstration had taken place Tuesday. Rapid Action Force (RAF), Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and personnel from four police stations have been deployed as preventive measure. Protests in small pockets are currently taking place and the situation is under control,” said Anil Kumar, Circle Officer (City 3rd).
According to the police, outgoing AMU Student Union President Salman Imtiyaz is among the named accused.
Station House Officer (SHO), Civil Lines, Amit Kumar said additional police force, RAF and PAC were deployed outside the varsity premises as a “precautionary measure.”
A complaint, lodged by sub-inspector Mohd Danish, says, “I was present at the intersection near Baba-e-Syed Gate. when some students with torches in their hands came from the side of AMU library and started moving towards AMU Circle, City while raising slogans against the CAB. I tried to stop them and asked them why they were raising slogans.
Then, students said they are AMU students and are protesting against CAB. I told them that section 144 is in place and they should go to the varsity, but they refused and manhandled me and other policemen and reached the AMU Circle,” said the complaint.
AMU students issued a “showcause notice” to the AMU faculty for allegedly failing to join the students in their protests against the CAB.
Shafe Kidwai, member and in-charge of Public Relations of AMU, said, “A protest was held against CAB and NRC on the university premises and students gave speeches. However, academic activities like examinations were held as per schedule and were not affected.”
Former vice president of the students’ union, Hamza Sufyan, claimed that many students who were to appear in examinations chose not to and took part in the hunger strike and protest.
Former president of AMUSU, Salman Imtiaz, said, “The hunger strike started Wednesday morning will endThursday morning. We will continue our protest,” claimed Imtiaz.