AMU clash: Right-wingers gear up to remove Jinnah portrait despite high security

New Delhi: The right-wing outfit, despite high-security deployment in the Aligarh Muslim University premises, is planning to take 1000 students to remove Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait. The outfit had given a deadline of 48 hours to take down the picture, that is nearing completion.

Clashes were broke out on the Varsity campus on Wednesday when members of Hindu Yuva Vahini and other right-wing members entered the premises and demanded the removal of Jinnah’s portrait. Due to the violence, 28 students and 13 cops got injured.

“Students were marching to the police station demanding to know why protesters of Hindu groups were let off without an FIR against them and why were they not stopped before reaching AMU. Police baton charged on them and used tear gas,” a spokesperson from the university said.

Also Read: Clashes over Jinnah portrait at AMU, 41 students injured

AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai defending the portrait, which is hanging on the campus for decades, said 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.

“He was granted membership before the demand of Pakistan had been raised by the Muslim League. No national leader had raised any objection to the photo even after Independence. These included Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, C Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad and Jawaharlal Nehru,” the spokesperson said.

“The day the right-wing leaders barged inside the campus, the former Vice President was to be honoured with a lifetime membership of the Students Union. The matter was of great importance to the university, but there were attacks on the students,” said AMU Teachers Association secretary Najmul Islam as per a report by News18. Adding that, the police administration could not control the perpetrators as there was a lapse in security. It just emboldened the right wingers in pursuing their nefarious activities, he said.

A Joint Action Committee has been formed that appealed students to maintain calm in this time.