Jinnah portrait row: AMU VC pens letter to students, says media trying to create 'negative image' of institute

Amid the ongoing controversy over the portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), the institute's vice-chancellor issued a statement on Tuesday requesting students not to "fall into trap of some forces", according to several media reports.

In the statement, vice-chancellor Tariq Mansoor said, "Our beloved university is passing through a difficult phase. Taking advantage of the crisis, a section of media, especially TV channels, are trying to portray negative image of the university".

File image of Aligarh Muslim University. News18

File image of Aligarh Muslim University. News18

Mansoor also denounced the use of force on the students by police last week and expressed his "anguish" over the incident. Students and right-wing protesters clashed at the university's Baab-e-Syed gate, following which police had to resort to lathicharge in which several students were injured

He also said, "We should not fall into the trap of some forces, which are bent on destroying the image of our alma mater". The vice-chanellor also appealed to students to maintain calm and focus on studies.

Controversy erupted after a BJP MP wrote a letter to Mansoor objecting to a portrait of Jinnah, Pakistan's founder, on the walls of the AMU student union office.

The university responded by stating that the portrait has been hanging there for decades, since Jinnah was a founder of the university and was granted life membership of the student union.

Reacting to the issue, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said Pakistan's national leader cannot be given respect in India. "Jinnah divided this country. How can we celebrate his achievements?", Adityanath asked.

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Updated Date: May 08, 2018 17:30:21 IST

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