Published: 08th August 2019
Seven days on, 2 Aligarh Muslim University student leaders still in jail, charged with attempt to murders
The university had suspended Huzaifa Amir Rashadi and rusticated Hamza Sufyan on July 31 for being involved in a series of events that were "unbecoming of a university student"
Aligarh Muslim University Students' Union's Honourary Secretary Huzaifa Amir Rashadi and AMUSU Vice-President Hamza Sufyan who were arrested from the registrar's office on August 1 after they reached the university premises to protest against their suspension from the institution are still in police custody and have been charged for attempt to murder and assault as well.
"The university administration had filed an FIR against them for allegedly assaulting the staff while the unionists were protesting. Once they were arrested for protesting and taken into custody the other charges also applied. Even though they have got bail under IPC sections 151, 148 and 147 they have also been charged with sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assault on criminal force) and 307 (attempt to murder) and are awaiting trial," said Maskoor Ahmed the former President of the AMUSU. "We are trying to mediate with the administration to sort this out but have not reached a solution yet. We will be organising a silent protest in solidarity with the arrested students at 1.30pm on August 8," he added.
The Aligarh Muslim University had suspended Huzaifa Amir Rashadi and rusticated Hamza Sufyan on July 31 for being involved in a series of events which were "unbecoming of a university student". An FIR was also filed on the basis of a complaint filed by the AMU administration against Huzaifa for obstructing their work and causing a ruckus inside the premises. The student union leaders accused the AMU administration of hastily handing over the orders without a proper disciplinary investigation.
The letter from the proctor's desk had accused Huzaifa of removing admission documents from the faculty of Life Sciences on July 15. It went on to say that Hamza and Huzaifa, along with students who have been caught for using unfair means in the university examination, entered the Vice-Chancellor's office on July 31 armed and went on to abuse and threaten the staff. Hamza was also accused of blocking the Purani Chungi Gate that night and threatening a hostel warden earlier on July 29. But the students said that this is nothing but a hasty decision.
"Looking at the past behaviour of the administration towards the students, it did not surprise us. They have made such decisions simply to subdue free voices on campus. The administration knows that if these voices continue to grow, their reputation will suffer because their wrongdoings will be in the spotlight," said Huzaifa. The administration has ordered him to vacate his room at the university and stay off the campus pending an inquiry "in the larger interest of the University". Hamza, on the other hand, was rusticated — he will not be able to be associated with the institution for a period of five years.
The AMUSU had called for a protest and closure of the Purani Changi Gate until their demand for the removal of the AMU Registrar was met. They had submitted a list of their demands to the administration that was received by the proctor's office at 9.40pm on July 31. The students demanded that the police check post be removed from the University Circle as it was creating an "atmosphere of fear" and also asked the Vice-Chancellor to stop the "regular and unwanted involvement" of the district administration and the police in the premises along with other demands.