AMU VC regrets Dec 15 police action; ensures students’ safety

January 17, 2020

Students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), who had held protests against the CAA on December 15 saw police action against demonstrators. The AMU authorities permitted the police to enter the university’s campus as the protests spread.

The five-hour-long clash between the students and the police involved stone-pelting, alleged firing by agitators, lathi-charge and use of water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets by the police.

The vice-chancellor of AMU, Tariq Mansoor on January 14 wrote to his students that he ‘regrets’ his decision about the police action on the campus during anti-CAA protests on December 15. He also assured them of their safety and the right to protest peacefully.

In the open letter, Mansoor wrote, “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.”

The vice-chancellor further added that the decision to call the police on that day was taken in “good faith and with a clear conscience.” He said, “Primarily it was aimed to disperse the charged up students who had got carried away with false rumours of the death of two students on Jamia Millia Islamia. When we saw the situation going out of hand, it was imperative to act appropriately.”

Mansoor said he respected the spirit of students for carrying out protests peacefully. “Students have full right to share their views on any subject in peaceful and democratic manners. The administration and I have no intention to subvert student rights,” said the VC.

In the letter, Mansoor also explained, “Certain outcomes of our decisions at times are affected by many unforeseen circumstances and criticism at times is fair. We derive wisdom from such decisions, with humility, and for improved responses in the future. The decision to vacate hostels was taken with much deliberation due to the prevailing situation in the country, and efforts were made to vacate minimum inconvenience to the students. However, some students were inconvenienced which is deeply regretted.”

“When you return after vacation, please remember that as the V-C, I am sworn to ensure the safety of the campus, and the well being of all students and staff. With love and respect, I seek your support in completing the academic year smoothly. Creating an atmosphere of anarchy will hurt our credibility as peaceful citizens and validate the lies that are being spread about our beloved university,” he wrote.

Mansoor also said many students at AMU come from a humble background and the education they receive at “this prestigious university has the power to transform their future.”

“We must work together in this testing time to ensure that AMU continues to serve the passion and dreams of our present students and the future generation… Our ego, knee jerk responses to events, preference to myopic short term benefits should not cloud our thinking of the long term objectives that the university is meant to serve.”

Source: Hindustan Times

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