Internet services were on Friday suspended in Aligarh district in the wake of unrest after groups clashed with each in Aligarh Muslim University over Muhammad Ali Jinnah portrait row.
“There will be no internet services from 2 pm today to 12 midnight tomorrow,” district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said on Friday. This has been done to prevent rumour mongering, he added.
It had come to the administration’s notice that some anti-social elements could vitiate communal harmony by spreading rumours through videos, using internet services, his order said.
Tension prevailed in Aligarh and students continued with their sit-in at the university’s Baab-e-Syed gate, where they had clashed with the police on Wednesday. They are boycotting classes for the next two days.
The students offered Friday prayers at the scene of the dharna in which a large number of teachers and other members of the AMU fraternity participated.
Wednesday’s clash took place when the students were demanding action against right-wing protesters who entered the AMU campus and demanded removal of Jinnah’s portrait from the Students’ Union Office, where it has been hanging for decades.
The row started after local BJP MP Satish Gautam wrote to AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor raising objections to the portrait.
Objecting to the portrait, the Aligarh MP asked the Vice Chancellor to explain the presence of the portrait adding that after India’s Partition, there is no justification for displaying the picture of Pakistan’s creator.
In the letter, the BJP leader said that he wanted to know under what circumstances the portrait of Jinnah was still placed in the university.
The University said portraits of all life members of the student union hang there. Jinnah, a founder member of the University Court, had also been given this honour before Partition.
AMU V-C visits hospital
On Friday, AMU vice chancellor Tariq Mansoor visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital where three of the students injured in the police lathi-charge are being treated.
The VC later visited the protesting students and assured them of his “solidarity”.
Memorandum sent to President Kovind
AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) has sent a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to “urgently institute” a high-level judicial probe into the incident.
They said members of certain outfits entered the campus and disrupted the peaceful academic environment there.
The teachers also plan a peace march up to the district collectorate.
AMUTA secretary Najmul Islam told PTI that they have urged the President to treat the matter seriously as it involved a breach in the security of former Vice President Hamid Ansari.
Ansari was supposed to be felicitated at the University the day the violence broke out.
Islam said protesters who had entered the campus were reportedly carrying firearms.
He said the police, instead of preventing the hooligans from entering the campus, “remained mute spectators”.
Protests in Delhi
Students from various universities, including Delhi University and JNU, protested outside Uttar Pradesh Bhawan in the national capital in support of the AMU students and raised slogans against the BJP and RSS, as per media reports.
The students will continue their protest outside the UP Bhawan on Saturday, added media reports.
(With agency inputs)