Violence in AMU before my visit is questionable, says Hamid Ansari

New Delhi: Hours before the former Vice President of India and an alumnus of Aligarh Mulsim University, M. Hamid Ansari, was scheduled to attend an event in the Varsity’s premises, armed activists of right-wing had entered the campus demanding removal of Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait. To which Mr. Ansari had responded saying, “The disruption and its precise timing as well as the excuse manufactured for justifying it, raises questions.

Unrest broke out over the portrait that had been hanging in the students union office since 1938. Scores of students were injured in the violence. “The program of the day, including an address by me in the Kennedy Auditorium, was publicly known. The concerned authorities had been intimated officially and were cognizant of the standard arrangements including security for such occasions. In view of it, the access of the intruders to close proximity of the University Guest House where I was staying remains unexplained,” Mr. Ansari said in a statement.

Around 30 activists of the outfit founded and patronised by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, accompanied by uniformed policemen reached Babe-e-Syed gate and shouted slogans like ‘We will not let such respect for Jinnah pass in India”, “If you want to remain in India, you must say Vande Mataram’, “Vande Mataram, Jai Shri Ram!”.

Also Read: AMU Unrest: A Timeline of Events

Mr. Ansari on Saturday wrote a letter to Aligarh Muslim University Students Union (AMUSU) President Mashkoor Ahmed Usmani confirming that there was a breach of security during May 2 programme. “I have just received a letter from the former Vice President Hamid Ansari Sahab, in which he confirms the breach of his security on May 2,” Usmani said at a press conference late evening in the Union Hall of the university campus.

On May 3, Mr. Ansari who had to deliver a lecture on pluralism left for Delhi after the incident as the local administration expressed its inability to provide him security cover.

As per the statement of the AMU Proctor’s office to the police, the men returned barely after half an hour with more people — around 25-30 men, some of them equipped with pistols, lathis and stones — and shouting expletives and objectionable slogans against the AMU, tried to barge into the university through Baab-e-Syed Gate.

“The disruption, its precise timing, and the excuse manufactured for justifying it raises questions. The programme of the day, including an address by me in the Kennedy Auditorium, was publicly known,” Mr. Ansari wrote in the letter. The former vice president also said that the peaceful protest by the students against this transgression was commendable, adding that they must ensure that it did not in any way interfere with their academic pursuits.

(With IANS inputs)