CAA protests: AMU students boycott classes

"The Act deliberately kept the Muslims out of the loop to send an Islamophobic message to the nation,” said a Member of the AMU Court, the university’s governing body.  

They demand immediate rollback of the CAA

Students of several Faculties of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), including the Faculties of Science and Life Sciences, held a protest march on Monday and decided to boycott classes and exams. The Faculties opened on Monday after the extended winter vacations in accordance with the schedule released by the university administration. The university was shut down a week ahead of schedule after a clash between the police and students on December 15, 2019.

In a statement released to the media, students demanded an immediate rollback of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA). “This Act shakes the pluralistic foundations of India and tarnishes the principle of equality in the country,” the statement said.

‘Reject hatred’

“We believe that the CAA is a divisive law and the Act deliberately kept the Muslims out of the loop to send an Islamophobic message to the nation,” said Mohammed Ghayasuddin of the Faculty of Life Sciences and a Member of the AMU Court, the university’s governing body. “We reject the BJP’s (Bharatiya Janata Party) hate for Muslims and want the union government to roll back the CAA,” he said.

On the Prime Minister’s ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ (‘discussion on examinations’) student interaction event, Mr. Ghyasuddin said no student had shied away from exams. “But the government of the day should provide a suitable atmosphere to study,” he said, and added, “The State did not consider us as students when we were protesting on December 15. Students were beaten up like hardened criminals and the police showered religious slurs on us.”

‘Waiting to discuss’

Ansab Aamir, a student of the engineering faculty, said the PM should also listen to those who did not agree with his views. “He took very obvious questions on Monday. Be it the women of Shaheen Bagh or the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and AMU, all are waiting to have a charcha with him,” he said.

Students further demanded the immediate closure of the National Population Register (NPR) exercise as it was the first step to a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC). The statement described CAA-NRC-NPR as “anti-poor, anti-Dalit and anti-marginalised”.

Students demanded stern action against the police/ Rapid Action Force (RAF) for entering the AMU Campus on December 15, 2019 and using disproportionate force.

Resignations demanded

The immediate resignation of the AMU Vice-Chancellor, Registrar and Proctor was also sought for granting permission to the U.P. Police and RAF to enter campus, and for forcing students to leave the campus without the declaration of sine die.

Later in the day, the AMU administration released a new schedule of examinations, starting January 27. After his meeting with some protesting students last week, Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor has also formed a seven-member committee of teachers for further dialogue.

Mr. Aamir said they expected the authorities to wait for January 22, when the Supreme Court would take up petitions against the CAA. “We would take a call after discussions because there is a section of students that does not want to further boycott the examinations,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 6:52:16 PM |

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