AMU decides to lodge FIR against police ‘excesses’
Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Professor Tariq Mansoor has decided to lodge an FIR against the Aligarh police for alleged excesses against students of the university on the night of December 15, a spokesperson for the university said on Tuesday.
“Vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor has stated that the police was called inside the AMU premises on the night of December 15 just to clear the passage between Bab-e-Syed gate and VC Lodge by dispersing the crowd. However, the police exceeded in action and entered the campus, especially Morrison Court and thrashed students and damaged belongings. Thus, to raise voice against police high-handedness, an FIR would be lodged against the Aligarh police,” AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai said in a statement.
Clashes had erupted on the AMU campus following police action against demonstrators in the vicinity of New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15. The AMU authorities permitted the police to enter the university’s campus as the protests spread on that Sunday. What followed was a five-hour-long clash between the students and the police – a confrontation that involved stone-pelting and alleged firing by agitators, and a lathi-charge and the use of water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets by the police, which also barged into the campus’s hostels and guest houses in search of the protesters.
Later, amid widespread criticism for allowing police on the campus, the AMU VC wrote an open letter to the students, apologising for the “turn of events”.
“I am deeply pained by the turn of events that occurred on December 15, especially the injuries caused by police action and the mental trauma some have suffered. To them and the families, I say that I regret what happened,” Mansoor wrote.
On January 11, Mansoor also wrote a letter to the senior superintendent of police (SSP) Aligarh to ensure security for him and his family in view of threats issued by “anti-social” and lumpen elements.
“There are anti-social elements, including those rusticated and others on bail for criminal charges, who are instigating students to attack me by labelling me as an RSS/BJP member and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) supporter. There are social media posts that call me ‘traitor’ and ask for my social boycott,” the VC had said in his letter to the SSP.
He, however, made it clear that the threat was not from students of the varsity. “The students are like children and I have full faith in them,” he added.
Meanwhile, a seven-member National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team continued probe into the violence on the campus for a second day. In compliance with the high court order, a seven-member team, led by IPS Manzil Saini, had reached AMU on Monday and has been interacting with the students, authorities, staff and other stakeholders about the night of the violence.
The visit by the NHRC team is in compliance of the orders of the Allahabad high court on a petition. The team is scheduled to stay on the campus for at least five days, following which it will present its fact-finding report to the high court.
On its part, the Aligarh police, too, released videos last month to clarify that it was a mob of students which broke open the Bab-e-Syed gate, and not the police.
Meanwhile, students continued their protests against the CAA on Tuesday, with boycott of classes, on-campus marches and social media campaigns.
“It has been a month since the students were beaten and injured on AMU campus on December 15 and now AMU VC is thinking to file application for FIR against the Aligarh police. This is totally an eyewash and damage control exercise on part of VC,” said Huzefa Aamir Rashadi , the former secretary of AMU Students’ Union.