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AMU on alert after research scholar reportedly joins Hizbul Mujahideen

26-year-old Phd student Manaan Wani has joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, the group’s Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin said in a statement to local media.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2018 23:42 IST
Pradeep Saxena
Pradeep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Aligarh
AMU,Mannan Wani,AMU reasearch scholar
The AMU is ranked 801-1000 in the QS World University Rankings of 2018. But this is not the first time it finds itself in the news for the alleged terror link of its students.(HT File Photo)

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Thursday formed a two-member committee to prepare a report on the activities of its expelled research scholar Mannan Wani, who has reportedly joined militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).

The HM had earlier this month claimed that 26-year-old Phd student, who was earlier seen holding an Ak-47 rifle in a photo circulated on the social media, has joined the outfit.

Rattled by the claim, the AMU has taken a slew of security measures to keep a tab on its students and probe Wani’s campus activities. The university already expelled Wani soon after his gun-toting photograph surfaced on the social media.

The two-member committee headed by Prof SH Arif has been asked to submit its report within a week, university’s spokesman of the S Safi Kidwai said. Professor Kamlesh Chandra is the other member of the committee.

Prof Mohd Saghir Khan, officiating dean of students’ welfare (DSW), said the provosts and wardens are making frequent rounds till late hours to keep a watch on their respective halls. He said no unauthorised persons would be allowed in the halls.

“Students will only be allowed to enter the halls after producing valid AMU ID cards,” said the officiating DSW, adding no vehicle would be allowed to enter the premises of residential halls as students and staff had been asked to park their vehicles at designated places.

He further said provosts of various halls were ensuring that every room was occupied by legal residents and CCTV cameras were in working condition.

“Students have also been asked to refrain from interacting with unauthorised persons,” said the officiating DSW.

The ripple effect of the incident is also felt outside the university campus. The state Anti Terror Squad are camping in the city, interrogating some of the college mates of Wani and people familiar to him and his activities. Some of his local contacts are also under surveillance.

“After Mannan incident, the police are put on alert. We will keep a strict watch on students against whom we get any input from intelligence agencies” said superintendent of police (city) Atul Shrivastava.

The police officer, however, promptly added that it would be wrong to point fingers at the internationally acclaimed university for the Wani episode.

The AMU is ranked 801-1000 in the QS World University Rankings of 2018.

But this is not the first time that the university finds itself in the news for the alleged terror link of its students.

An MSc (physics) student of the university Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqui founded the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) with some alumni of the institute in April 1977. The SIMI was banned and declared a terrorist organisation and in 2002, bringing the university under security glare.

Another student Mubin was arrested from Habib Hall of the university in 2001 in connection with Sabarmati Express train blast. However, he was acquitted by the court as no evidence was found against him to prove the charge.

In September 2016, a Kashmiri student Mudassar Lone was expelled from the university for posting objectionable comments on a social networking site over the terror attack on the Indian Army’s base in Jammu and
Kashmir’s Uri.

A joint investigation group has been constituted to probe the Wani episode, said Aligarh inspector general Sanjeev Gupta.

Ruling out that the case would bring a bad name to the institution, Kidwai said teachers and students from different religions, ethnicity and culture worked together at the university.

“I would like to quote former President Pranab Mukherjee who, during his last visit to the university, said the AMU was a perfect example of Indian nationalism and ethos,” Kidwai said.

First Published: Jan 11, 2018 23:39 IST