Hindu outfits clashed with students of Aligarh Muslim University
Communal tension gripped Aligarh when activists of Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), Akkhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and some other Hindu outfits clashed with students of Aligarh Muslim University over the putting up o the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on Wednesday.
Trouble started in the afternoon when activists of the Hindu outfits burnt the effigy of Jinnah to lodge their protest and demand the immediate removal of his portrait on the campus. When AMU students tried to stop them from doing so, the protesters attacked them.
In order to stop a direct clash, cops tried to chase away Hindu outfits activists but they had to face violent protests in which several cops were also injured.
Finding the situation going out of control, senior police officers rushed to the spot along with additional police force including Rapid Action Force and other Central Para Military Force (CPMF). The security personnel fired tear gas shells and chased away the trouble makers. The situation was however still tense when reports last come in.
While the Hindu activists said that they would not spare any one if Jinnah’s portrait was not removed within 48-hours, the AMU students warned the police to arrest those who burnt the effigy failing which they would settle the score directly.
Interestingly, some leading Muslim outfits supported the removal of Jinnah’s portrait if it was put up on the AMU campus.
AMU spokesman Shafey Kidwai defended the portrait, apparently hanging at AMU for decades, saying that Jinnah was a founder member of University Court and was hence granted life membership of the student union. “Traditionally, photographs of all life members are placed on the walls of the student union building,” he told media persons after the controversy erupted.
The AMU Students Union also denied media reports that the portrait was taken down after the controversy. Union president Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani said that the Union Hall was being cleaned on Tuesday evening for an event in which former Vice-President Hamid Ansari was being awarded life membership. He said that it might have created a false impression that the portrait was being removed.
Usmani said that the AMU Students Union strongly opposed the two-nation theory and the creation of Pakistan, which was a result of the movement led by Jinnah.
“There is no question of being inspired by such a separatist ideology. But we also feel that his photograph is a part of the legacy of undivided India’s freedom movement in which AMU played a stellar role,” he said.
Earlier, UP Labour minister Swamy Prasad Maurya kicked up a controversy by reportedly praising Jinnah. The minister is said to have called Jinnah a `mahapurush’ (a great personality) from undivided India.
Maurya reportedly praised Jinnah on being asked to comment on the row triggered by BJP MP Satish Gautam, who objected to Jinnah’s portrait being displayed at AMU.
Many senior BJP leaders also reacted sharply to Maurya’s remarks and demanded his removal from the ministry and the party.
Interestingly just after controversy, Maurya tried to clarify his remarks claiming that the media presented his view in a wrong way.
“Koi bayaan nahi hai, yeh bayaan aap log baat ka batangar bana ke badhaate hai (There was no statement. You are making a mountain of a mole hill),” Maurya later said.
Meanwhile tension gripped Behra Sadat village of Muzaffarnagar after graves of Sunni Muslims were found desecrated on Tuesday morning. The Sunnis had reached the graveyard to pray for the departed when they noticed damaged graves. They then confronted Shias of the locality who share the graveyard with Sunnis. Luckily, heavy police force reached the spot and brought the situation under control.
In another incident in Ballia, nine persons were injured in a communal clash in Sikriakala village in Gadwar area on Tuesday night.
SP of Ballia, Sriparna Ganguly said, “A youth from a particular community pushed and misbehaved with a girl from another community at a marriage ceremony in the village after which a clash ensued. The incident snowballed into stone pelting in which nine persons were injured. Later, cross FIRs were lodged by both groups and six persons were arrested. Heavy force has been deployed in the village to check any untoward incident.”
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