The controversy over the birth anniversary of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh took a new turn with the Aligarh Muslim University students’ union (AMUSU) opposing the vice-chancellor’s decision to hold a seminar in memory of the Jat king, saying the VC had taken the decision under pressure from BJP leaders.
Vice-chancellor Zameeruddin Shah, however, said: “The students cannot decide academic matters. Nobody has pressurised me. The decision is mine.”
“Any compromise with the BJP is not in the interest of the institution,” said office-bearers of the AMUSU during a general body meeting of the union held on Saturday night.
AMUSU president Abdullah Azzam, vice-president Syed Masud-ul-Hasan and secretary Shahzeb Ahmad said a large number of eminent personalities had played a vital role in the foundation of MAO College, but it was not possible to celebrate the birth anniversary of each of them.
“The VC alone cannot take a decision to hold a seminar in memory of Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh. The issue will have to be put up before the executive council, academic council and the AMU court,” said the AMUSU office-bearers.
The student union office-bearers further said some people had not remembered the Raja for 150 years and now they were indulging in dividing the society on the pretext of his name.
It was decided that the issue of holding a seminar in memory of the Raja would be debated in the next general body meeting.
Meanwhile, AMUSU vice-president Syed Masud-ul-Hasan met the chief minister and apprised him of the fresh developments on the campus and in the city. According to Hasan, the chief minister assured him that nobody would be allowed to take the law in his hands. Hasan said the CM had directed Aligarh DM and SSP to maintain law and order in and around the campus and Section 144 had been imposed to maintain peace in the city on December 1.
AMUSU president Abdullah Azzam said, “If any programme has to be organised in the university, it must be held as per the decision of the AMU administration and not under pressure of any outsider.”