AMU students booked for sedition

February 14, 2019

Fourteen Aligarh Muslim University students were booked under sedition charges on Wednesday after protests on the campus following reports of a planned visit by AIMIM lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi.

The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BYJM) members held a demonstration against the visit, demanding that the MP should be banned from the campus.

Later at night, cases under sections 124-A (sedition), section 307 (attempt to murder) and eight other sections of the IPC were registered against 14 students, including the president of students’ union Salman Imtiaz and vice president Huzaifa Aamir on the complaint of BJYM’s Mukesh Lodhi. He alleged that when he was driving across the AMU Circle, these students surrounded him and launched a “murderous assault” and raised pro-Pakistan slogans.

Protesting the police action, a “class boycott” call has been given by the students’ union. Security has also been beefed in the area and Rapid Action Force has been deployed around the campus amid other protests, including one in which a motorcycle belonging to a BJYM member was set on fire, reported PTI.

The main approach road leading to the university campus at IG Khan Crossing was closed by police as a precautionary measure. Official sources said internet services will also be off in city.

ABVP activists staged a protest near the Faiz Gate of the university after some media reports claimed that Owaisi was invited to address a function organised by the AMU Students’ Union. Owaisi, however, did not turn up.

An AMU spokesman said a TV channel team from Republic TV, which had come to cover the anticipated event, had an altercation with some students while they were filming inside the campus. The spokesman said the channel had not sought permission from authorities for live coverage and when the university staff pointed this out, there was a heated exchange in which some students were also involved.

The media persons claimed they were roughed up by some students and their camera was smashed. Complaints were lodged at the Civil Lines police station by both the AMU authorities and the TV channel crew.

Meanwhile, a large group of students gathered at Bab-e-Syed Gate, demanding the suspension of Ajay Singh, a prominent ABVP leader who is a postgraduate student in the Faculty of Law. He is the grandson of BJP MLA Dalvir Singh.

The Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the booking of 14 student leaders under sedition charges. The teachers urged President Ram Nath Kovind, who is also the university’s visitor, to take suo motu cognisance of this action of the state government.

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