New Delhi: A section of Jamia Millia Islamia’s alumni has sought withdrawal of an invite to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be the chief guest at its annual convocation, but the varsity has rejected the demand.
Modi has constantly “spread rumours and hatred” about the university, former students Asad Ashraf and Mahtab Alam have written to the vice-chancellor. The letter has been endorsed by over 50 members of the alumni association. The comments against the varsity were made by Modi in 2008, after the Batla House encounter that year.
“We are writing to express our deep anguish on your invitation to Narendra Modi…we have a very simple request…withdraw the invitation or at least ask him to render a public apology before he attends the convocation,” the ex-students wrote.
Addressing a gathering in Gujarat, Modi had said: “There is a university in Delhi called Jamia Millia Islamia. It has announced that it will foot the legal fees of terrorists involved in act. Go drown yourself.”
Then VC Mushirul Hasan had said the university would offer legal aid to two of its students arrested for suspected terror links. The letter also quotes BJP leader V.K. Malhotra’s comments, made ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, that “Jamia and Batla are safe houses for terrorists”.
Today, Jamia spokesperson Mukesh Ranjan asserted the invite to Modi would not be withdrawn, saying the varsity “had been inviting constitutional authorities”. The PMO hasn’t yet confirmed acceptance.