AMU Jinnah portrait row: Internet services suspended in Aligarh
Internet services were suspended in Aligarh district on Friday after amid a controversy over a portrait of Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah at Aligrah Muslim University (AMU).
Aligarh district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh announced the suspension of Internet services from 2 pm to Friday midnight to curb inflammatory messages related to the Jinnah controversy being widely shared on social media.
Tension prevailed in Aligarh and students continued with their sit-in at the university’s Baab-e-Syed gate, where they had clashed with the police on Wednesday. They are boycotting classes for the next two days.
The students offered Friday prayers at the site of the dharna in which a large number of teachers and other members of the AMU fraternity participated.
Jinnah’s portrait has been hanging at the AMU students union hall since 1938. The controversy started earlier this week when Aligarh BJP MP Satish Gautam wrote to AMU vice chancellor Tariq Mansoor seeking justification for the portrait of a leader blamed by many for the partition of India.
On Thursday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath also called for the removal of Jinnah’s portrait from AMU.
A day earlier violence broke out after members of the right-wing Hindu Yuva Vahini and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) entered the AMU campus and burnt an effigy of Jinnah. AMU student union leaders said students from the university marching to a local police station to register a complaint were caned by police.
AMU students are adamant the thr portrait would not be removed. “The portrait came up as part of a protocol that the AMU students’ union accorded to all great leaders of the then undivided India who had visited the campus,” said Mashkoor Ahmad Usmani, chief of the union.
(WIth HT inputs)