Published: 10th January 2019
AMUSU's former prez trashes probe clearing right-wingers who created ruckus over Jinnah portrait
The incident occurred on May 2, when former Vice President Hamid Ansari was also present in the AMU campus
Maskoor Ahmad Usmani, the former president of the Aligarh Muslim University Students Union said that the Magisterial Probe on goons who clashed with the students over the removal of Jinnah's portrait, last year, was "vague" and slammed it calling the report a "mere formality".
The report, a result of a magisterial probe, that says that the police was at fault by letting the right-wing activists enter the campus, also let the attackers off the hook - as they were never identified.
The incident occurred on May 2, 2018, when a few right-wing activists barged into the university, seeking the removal of the portrait of Mohammed Ali Jinnah from the University's Students' Union Hall. The students resisted this, saying that the dark ages of Indian history must be preserved. They also refuted the move, as Jinnah was also a lifetime member of the union. This led to a clash between the two groups and around 40 students were injured as the police lathi-charged them and even lobbed tear gas shells to control the situation.
At the time of the incident, former Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari was also present in the campus. An alumnus and the university's former VC, he had come to the university for an event where he was conferred the AMUSU lifetime membership. Usmani, the then AMUSU president says that he suspects the incident was an attempt to harm Ansari. "The goons entered the campus twice that day. At first, they were handed over to the local police. But later in the noon, they entered the campus again and clashed with the student. A lot of us were brutally injured," Usmani says. He added that even after the AMUSU demanded a judicial probe on the issue, only a magisterial probe was done.
"Hamid Ansari Saab supported our protest. He even wrote a letter asking us the timing of the incidents," says Usmani. He also said that even now there is no clarity on who sent the goons inside the university.
Where is the portrait?
The Jinnah portrait is still a part of the Students' Union Hall's wall. AMU isn't the only place in the country with a portrait of Jinnah, it is there even in the Sabarmati Ashram and the Bombay High Court. "Why would they specifically want it to be removed from AMU? What is the motive behind it?" Usmani questions. "If it has to be removed from our university, the same should apply to other institutions as well," he says.