1200 Kashmiri students threaten to quit AMU

Over the past two days, the university has suspended two students and issued show-cause notice to seven others for their alleged involvement in sloganeering and other objectionable activities, a charge denied by the students.

As many as 1200 Kashmiri students on Saturday threatened to quit Aligarh Muslim University en masse on October 17 if the sedition charges, suspensions and show-cause notices issued to the Kashmiri students were not withdrawn, Times of India reported.  Students also accused the university of indulging in a “vilification” campaign against Kashmiri students. The students threatened that besides quitting en masse, more than 1,200 other students would surrender their degrees on October 17, which coincides with the birth anniversary of university’s founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. 

Over the past two days, the university has suspended two students and issued show-cause notice to seven others for their alleged involvement in sloganeering and other objectionable activities, a charge denied by the students. 

A letter signed by AMU students’ union’s vice-president SajjadSubhamRathar, who is a Kashmiri student, stated, “We, the 1,200 students, will surrender our degrees and leave for our homes for reasons of safety and security. All the responsibility in that case will be of the university and local administration.” 

Referring to the IPC sections and issuance of show-cause notice and suspensions by university, the letter reads, “Imposing such sections is to threaten Kashmiri students that is a cause of concern. We cannot stay on the campus with the burden of these fabricated charges.” 

The students reiterated that the sit-in of Kashmiri students was within the legal framework and students had dispersed peacefully. The letter, addressed to the proctor, stated, “We are feeling threatened and our career development is under stake in such fearful circumstances.” 

It’s in place to mention here that three Kashmiri students of the AMU were suspended after they allegedly tried to hold a prayer meeting for HizbulMujahideen commander Manan Bashir Wani, who was killed on Thursday in a gun battle with forces in north Kashmir.

“Some Kashmiri students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Thursday had gathered near Kennedy Hall on the campus to hold funeral prayers for Wani, following which the university staff and student union leaders rushed to the spot and tried to stop them,” AMU spokesperson and professor ShafeyKidwai had said on Friday.

There was a heated exchange between the AMU Students’ Union leaders and the Kashmiri students but they finally moved out of the area, Kidwai said, adding that three Kashmiri students were suspended for trying to hold an “unlawful gathering”.

He said the university has made it clear that there was zero tolerance for any act, which would even remotely be described as “anti-national”.

The 27-year-old scholar turned militant MananWani, who quit PhD studies in Allied Geology and joined the militant ranks in January this year, was killed at Shatgund village in Handwara area of Kupwara district during the encounter on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, two students of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) were on Friday booked for sedition by the Uttar Pradesh Police. 

The accused, WasimAyub Malik and Abdul Mir hail from Jammu and Kashmir. They were among the students of the AMU who had planned to hold a prayer meeting for Wani. 

The police, according to news magazine India Today, had slapped charges under IPC Section 124A (Sedition) and other relevant provisions of the law against these two named and other unnamed accused.  With inputs from ToI