Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) vice-chancellor Lt Gen (retd) Zameeruddin Shah has expressed regret over his controversial statement in respect to entry of girls in the Maulana Azad College Library.
Speaking to a news channel, Shah said that he had no intention to hurt or insult the female students and that his supposedly ‘controversial statement’ was made in a lighter vein.
During the oath-taking ceremony of Abdullah Women College Students’ Union on Monday Shah had said that, “If I allow girls of women college in the Maulana Azad Library then the rush of male students into the library will increase four-fold.”
As this comment of Shah created a nation-wide uproar the union HRD ministry sought a report from the university on the issue. The ministry asked the AMU as to under which rules and regulations girls were not allowed into the library.
Surat Singh, deputy secretary, higher education department, HRD ministry sent a letter on Tuesday to the AMU registrar Dr Asfasr Ali Khan seeking a report on Shah’s statement.
Replying to the letter, Khan said that, “The girls had made an oral request during the function and that the request was under consideration.”
He further said, “The women’s college was established in 1936 as a separate entity at a distance of 3 km from the main campus. The college is equipped with all facilities, including library. The Library has a membership of 2,750 girls beside a large number of unregistered visitors. There is no restriction on entry of girls of post-graduate courses, research scholars and professional courses and there is no gender discrimination.”
Singh again sent a letter to Khan on Wednesday wherein he wanted to know the status of the women’s college. He asked: “Is it a constituent college or affiliated college? Is it an undergraduate or post graduate college and which undergraduate college of boys is being allowed to use the library?”
Khan replied that the women’s college is a constituent undergraduate college and is ‘self-contained.’ Further he informed that the undergraduate boys and girls of ZH College of Engineering & Technology, Dr ZA Dental College and AK Tibbiya College were allowed into take library
Meanwhile, the questioning by the union HRD ministry has caused resentment among the AMU community.
Also, N Jamal Ansari, AMU expert and analyst said that, “Just going by media reports and posing so much questions is widening the gulf between the AMU fraternity and the present government, which came to power on the promise of equal treatment and opportunities to all sections of Indian citizenary.”