In Aligarh District, Internet services were suspended on today in the wake of controversy in AMU after the Jinnah portrait row. District magistrate Aligarh Chandra Bhushan Singh said: “There will be no internet services from 2 pm today to midnight tomorrow,”. This has been done to prevent rumour spreading, he said. It had come to the administration’s notice that some anti-social/national elements could contaminate communal harmony by spreading fake news and rumours through videos, using internet services, his order said.
Wednesday’s clash took place when the AMU students were demanding action against right-wing protesters who entered the campus and wanted the Pakistan founder’s portrait removed from the student union office, where it has been hanging for decades. The row started after local BJP MP Satish Gautam wrote to AMU raising objections to the portrait.
At around 11 am onwards, more than 150 students reached the spot amid slogans like “We want justice” and “Say no to fascist forces.” The crowd increased within a couple of few hours, and the entire area was cordoned off by the local police and the para-military forces. The students were also assembled by the hundreds of teaching and non-teaching staff/faculty members and past alumni.
The University said portraits of all members of the student union of Aligarh Muslim University hang there. Jinnah, the founder member of the University Court, had also been given this honour before Partition. AMU vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital today, where three of the AMU students injured after the police lathi-charge are being treated. The Vice Chancellor also visited the area where students were protesting and assured them of his “solidarity”. AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) has sent a notice to President Ram Nath Kovind about “urgently institute” a high-level judicial inquiry into this incident. They said members of certain outfits entered the campus and disrupted the peaceful academic environment there.