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AMU V-C meets students, regrets police action

A view of Aligarh Muslim University after the violent protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, in Aligarh on December 15, 2019.

A view of Aligarh Muslim University after the violent protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, in Aligarh on December 15, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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I didn’t know they would enter the hostel and guest house, he says

A month after calling police inside the campus to control law and order in the wake of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Aligarh Muslim University Vice-Chancellor met students at the sit-in spot on Thursday and regretted the turn of the events.

In a four-minute video of the meeting recorded by a student, Prof. Mansoor could be heard telling students that these were not “crocodile tears”. “My whole family regret it. I didn’t know the police would enter the hostel and guest house...” he said.

In a statement released by the university, the V-C told the students that the police should have “no role in the working of the university and law and order is to be maintained by the university”. Expressing deep regret, Prof. Mansoor said, “I deeply regret that students suffered injuries and the inconvenience they faced when they were asked to vacate hostels.”

He assured them that the university administration was fully committed to provide congenial atmosphere and security to the students.

A university spokesperson underlined that the V-C had met the students without any security cover and categorically said no innocent student would be targeted and that the university had no issue if the students peacefully protest on any provision which they find objectionable.

The V-C further urged students to cooperate with the visiting National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team and the fact-finding committee headed by Justice (retd.) V.K. Gupta set up by the university for a detailed investigation on what all transpired on the night of December 15, in which a score of students were left injured.

In the video, the V-C could also be heard asking students about the social media post where a student has asked whether funeral prayer of General Dyer should be offered.

The students could be heard replying that as their teacher he should not focus on one post and think of the future of 32000 students.

The V-C could also be heard describing the letter to the district administration where he asked for security as a precautionary measure. “This is a government university. It puts ₹1,100 crore annually. God forbid something happened...we put the ball in their court,” he said.

A student requesting anonymity said he was not happy with the V-C’s response and expected students, which included a former president of the students’ union to present better arguments. “When you have called the police inside, how could you not follow what it was up to inside the campus,” he asked. “If he was feeling guilty, he should have addressed a larger gathering of students, not some five-six students at 7 a.m.,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:04:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/amu-v-c-meets-students-regrets-police-action/article30579153.ece

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