The simmering differences at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), where some students have been on hunger strike over a fellow student’s murder, came to the fore when the vice chancellor shut down the institution indefinitely and the teachers’ association condemned the move.
The university was forced to take this step because of the deteriorating health condition of the students on hunger strike, the increasing threat of violence and the alleged infiltration of anti-social elements into the group of agitators, Vice Chancellor P.K. Abdul Aziz told the media on Saturday.
The student agitation began after Shahnawaz Alam, an AMU student, was shot dead outside a restaurant near Aligarh railway station over a parking dispute on October 25.
Although the killer was immediately arrested, the murder sparked off an agitation by a small group of students that culminated in a hunger strike by five students, demanding, among other things, that the university canteen be open 24 hours.
The students are also demanding the resignation of the vice chancellor and some other university officials and elections to the students union, which have not been held for three years.
The students are now refusing to vacate the hostel, even as the executive committee of the AMU Teachers’ Association expressed its resentment at the closure of the university.