The students’ union chief of Aligarh Muslim University was among 12 students slapped with sedition charges on the complaint of an activist of a students’ body a day after an altercation between some students and the crew of a TV channel.
Cases under sections 124-A (sedition), section 307 (attempt to murder) and eight other sections of the IPC were registered against the students, including president of students’ union Salman Imtiaz on a complaint by ABVP activist Mukesh Lodhi.
Lodhi reportedly alleged that the students raised pro-Pakistan slogans and launched a “murderous assault” on him near the AMU circle.
Members of the AMU students’ union have called it a false FIR.
According to Outlook, Hamza Sufyan, AMU students’ union vice-president, said that they are ready to present themselves for arrest if any of the charges against them is proved.
Reports say that a major fracas began at AMU when a team from Republic TV came to cover an event to which AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi had been reportedly invited.
The team, according to an AMU spokesman, had an altercation with some students while they were filming inside the campus.
According to AMU authorities, the channel did not have the permission for live coverage. The students accused the journalists of making objectionable remarks on the University.
According to The Indian Express, the AMU Students’ Union vice-president said that the TV channel crew “misbehaved with university officials” and raised “objectionable slogans” when the proctor tried to stop them from filming.
The channel claimed that its team was roughed up by some students and their camera was smashed. The reporters from the channel alleged that the students misbehaved with them and that the story they were covering was not about AMU. The crew also alleged that the students destroyed their equipment.
Both AMU authorities and the TV channel crew lodged complaints at the Civil Lines Police Station.
As the tiff escalated, clashes erupted in the University campus.
In their complaint, ABVP alleged that a motorcycle belonging to one of their members was set on fire. Activists of the students’ group have been protesting against the reported invitation to Owaisi.
Following the clashes, security at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was beefed up and personnel from Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed around the campus on Tuesday night. Some access routes have been closed by the police as a precautionary measure.
Internet services were cut off in the city as a precautionary measure.
Senior Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari told PTI that a number of complaints were given by different groups at the Civil Lines police station and the police were still in the process of filing these reports.
He said these reports were being examined and an FIR will be filed “after due investigation”.
Late on Tuesday, Aligarh district magistrate CM Singh reportedly said that action will be taken against the guilty.
(With inputs from agencies.)