LUCKNOW — Scores of people allegedly carrying weapons and saffron flags unsuccessfully tried to forcibly enter the Aligarh Muslim University campus through its main gate here on Wednesday. They were believed to be angry over a portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah at the office of AMU Students Union.
A near-scuffle ensued between the saffron activists and AMU’s security guards. Very soon, hundreds of students of AMU gathered on the spot and blocked their way.
Significantly, former Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari was staying at the guest house inside the campus when the incident took place. He was there to attend a program of AMUSU.
Talking to Caravan Daily over phone, AMUSU president Maskoor Ahmad Usmani confirmed the incident and said that a complaint has been lodged with the police seeking arrest of the persons who, he said, were affiliated to the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a Hindu-right group formed years ago by current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath.
He said that the saffron activists had reached near the guest house but soon they were pushed out of the gate by the security.
In a Facebook post, Usmani gave details about the incident.
“In a sad & disappointing event some goons sponsored by Hindu Yuva Vahini tried to enter campus and created nuisance at Bab-E-Syed. In an attempt to enter campus premises they even tried to attack students with sticks and created sense of fear by broadcasting Pistol and other fire arms,” he said.
He alleged that the Uttar Pradesh Police “shamelessly escorted and witnessed them while they did everything to create communal tension in an institute of national importance.”
He further said that the incident could be deliberate “to tarnish the image of University as Janab Mohammad Hamid Ansari Sahab (Former Vice-president) is in the campus and union is going to host him with open heart and hand.”
AMUSU said the incident was an act of threat to security of former Vice-President of India. It has asked the district administration to immediately arrest them.
Portrait of Jinnah
A BJP lawmaker had on Monday asked the Aligarh Muslim University to explain why it displays a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, triggering a row days after a student sought permission to hold an RSS shaka on its premises.
In a letter written to Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor, BJP Lok Sabha MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam objected to Pakistan founder’s picture on the walls of the AMU student union office.
AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai on Tuesday defended the portrait, apparently hanging there for decades, saying that Jinnah was a founder of the university and granted life membership of the student union. Traditionally, photographs of all life members are placed on the walls of the student union, he told PTI news agency.