Jinnah portrait row at AMU: Police allegedly cane students
Many students of Aligarh Muslim University staged a protest after police allegedly caned them for marching to lodge a complaint against Hindu group that sought removal of Mohammed Ali Jinnah's portrait from the varsity's campus. Reportedly, six students were injured on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, students of AMU and right-wing activists almost came to blows following which Rapid Action Force was deployed.
Reportedly, AMU students were marching towards Civil Lines police station to register a complaint against groups - Hindu Yuva Vahini and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). The members of the groups entered the University's campus at around 3 PM shouting 'Jai Shri Ram', and 'Jinnah Murdabad'. They allegedly demanded Jinnah's portrait to be removed within 48 hours from the campus.
AMU students alleged, members of Hindutva groups stormed the varsity's campus and beat them up, including student's union president M.A. Usmani. The also alleged police of inaction. Chandra Bhushan Singh, DM, Aligarh, said two students were injured when police took action against protestors.
An official refuted allegations of police's inaction against the Hindu groups. "In fact, while we exercised restraint the students targeted us with stones," he said. The clashes coincided with a scheduled visit of former Vice President Hamid Ansari, who was to be conferred with lifetime membership by AMUSU. The function was called off after clashes turned violent in the campus.
The row erupted when BJP leader from Aligarh, Satish Gautam, on Monday wrote to the varsity's vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor, asking why Jinnah's portrait was allowed to hang. AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai in a response said, "Jinnah was accorded life membership of the AMU students' union in 1938. He was the founder member of the University Court in 1920 and also a donor."