Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh:
Terming it as the final appeal, the VC added that the University cannot allow chaos and disorder.
Terming it as "the final appeal", the Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor asked the students to appear in the examinations and attend classes. Vice Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor has also asked the students to not to fall prey to rumors, propaganda spread by vested interests. Protesters blocked entry to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) engineering college yesterday, preventing the holding of an examination for the second consecutive day.
The authorities were hoping to conduct the examination amid a boycott call by students demanding the withdrawal of "false FIRs" lodged against them during anti-CAA protests.
The AMU campus has been witnessing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Over 1,200 students, including those not identified, have been booked in about a dozen cases connected.
The students are demanding the resignation of top university officials for "failing" to secure justice for those who were allegedly the victim of police excesses during anti-CAA protests.
"I appeal to all my students whose future is foremost on my mind, not to fall prey to rumors, propaganda spread by vested interests and to appear in the examinations and attend classes," said Professor Mansoor in an appeal to students to stop them from boycotting examinations and classes.
He added that the University cannot allow chaos, disorder and undesirable activities which will tarnish the name of the university.
Addressing the students, Prof Mansoor mentioned that he is writing to dispel apprehensions, rumor mongering and false news circulating on the AMU campus in an effort to save the academic future of the student community.
"If the examination and classes are prevented from being held by some misguided elements there will be no justification of keeping the University open and allowing 23, 000 students to sit idle in the university campus," pointed Prof Mansoor adding that even the parents of students would not want their wards to remain on the campus without academic activity and law and order issues could also arise.
"This is my last appeal to all, to maintain peace and tranquillity in the campus and to please appear in the exams and attend classes from January 30, 2020. Already 18 days have gone by without any academic activity," he stated
The Vice Chancellor lamented that some elements are playing with emotions including those of school children, some of them as young as 10-12 years.
He urged students to act in a mature and wise manner, to continue with academic activities and protest peacefully, on any issue within the ambit of law.
"I have already assured students in my earlier letters of full security and again reiterate that we will depend upon our own security mechanism of proctorial staff, pro proctors, etc to sort out the matter and cases of students. Indiscipline will be dealt as per rules. No outside agency will have a role in this," he emphasised in the appeal.
Prof Mansoor also said, "If anybody has any grievance or complaints against me, he is free to represent to the Hon'ble President of India, who is visitor of the university and if any section of the university has grievance or complaint against any person holding administrative responsibilities, he/she can give to me in writing and it will be looked into as per rules."
The Vice Chancellor said that in his tenure of two-and-a-half years, he always allowed peaceful and democratic protests on various issues in the university campus by all sections of the AMU community.
As a democratic academic institution anyone is allowed to discuss, argue and dissent on any matter, he pointed out adding that incidents, which occurred in May 2018 and February 2019 were amicably solved with the cooperation of all concerned including the students, teaching staff and district administration.
"The recent protests on CAA were also peacefully conducted between December 11 and 14, 2019. On December 15, unfortunate incidents happened and I have already expressed regrets for the injuries suffered by the students and the inconvenience caused to the students to vacate hostels on short notice due to preponement of winter vacations. Decision was taken in good faith and not with the intention of causing harm to any student," Prof Mansoor mentioned in the appeal.
The Vice Chancellor said that the university has already constituted two committees to look into the matter of the FIR, compensation to injured students, release of confiscated vehicles and that the university administration will provide all the help to innocent persons.
He reminded: "The incidents of December 15 are being investigated by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the orders of Hon'ble High Court of Allahabad and the next hearing is scheduled in Allahabad High Court for February 17, 2020. Let us wait for its decision."
Prof Mansoor also pointed out that the University has also constituted a fact finding committee headed by Justice V K Gupta, former Chief Justice of High Court of Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkand and the committee has already started its work and held the first sitting on January 20, 2020.
He said: "Some persons, who blatantly disturbed the Republic Day function on January 26, were handed over to police authorities by the proctorial staff as they were not sure about the antecedents of the concerned persons. It should be noted that the Republic Day is a National festival, which is above politics and it is a serious offence to disturb Republic Day celebrations."
"I was not aware of handing over of these persons to the police authorities, but as soon as I got it verified by the Controller of Admissions that three of them were bonafide students, we requested the district administration to release them and as they will be dealt as per university rules," said Prof Mansoor adding that these students' were released within hours and two members of proctorial team were at the Police Station to facilitate their release, while the fourth person, who is not a bonafide student, was also released the next day by the district administration.
In a memorandum submitted to the AMU engineering college, the protesters said they would continue to boycott the examinations until the false FIRs lodged against them were not withdrawn.
The students said yesterday that they would consider calling off their protest only after an open dialogue with AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor.
(With PTI Inputs)
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