Students continue to boycott examinations at Aligarh Muslim University’s Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology for the fourth successive day on Thursday, even after assurance that the demands raised by them will be considered. AMU spokesman Omar Peerzada, however, said a small step to resolve the impasse took place when some classes were held for the first time after Professor Sufiyan Beg, principal of the engineering college, assured the students that their demands raised during Wednesday meeting between AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor and the protesting students would be considered favourably.
“After discussing the matter with senior university officials on Thursday, I am optimistic,” Beg said. The main demands of the protesting students pertain to an assurance from the vice-chancellor that all “false cases” registered against protesting students during the past six weeks would be withdrawn, Beg said.
The other demand is regarding a similar assurance from the vice-chancellor that there will be “no further police action or harassment against those who carry out peaceful protests,” he said.
Earlier on Wednesday night, the deadlock at AMU appeared to have worsened when the talks between VC Mansoor and the protesting students held at the college ended in bedlam with students raising slogans against the vice-chancellor. No examinations could be held for the fourth successive day on Thursday despite the vice chancellor’s appeal on Wednesday to end the boycott even while continuing with their peaceful anti-CAA protests.
At the Women’s College, protesting girls of the Senior Secondary School blocked the entry of the teachers inside the college complex while chanting slogans. In a related development, AMU Students Coordination Committee on Thursday announced that even if the university authorities declare the closure of the varsity, they will not vacate the campus till their demands are not addressed.
In a bid to break the continuing deadlock, the AMU Alumni Association in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has in a letter to the vice-chancellor expressed serious concern over the possibility of sine die closure of the varsity. While pointing out that such a closure would have serious ramifications for the overall interest of the institution, the alumni body offered their good offices to serve as interlocutors between the protesting students and the vice-chancellor.
Over 1,200 students, including those not identified, have been booked in about a dozen cases connected. The students are demanding the resignation of top university officials for “failing” to secure justice for those who were allegedly the victim of police excesses during anti-CAA protests. Security arrangements in and around the university have been beefed up.