Jinnah portrait row: Hamid Ansari supports AMU students' demand for action, says timing of violence 'raises questions'

New Delhi:  Breaking his silence, former vice president M Hamid Ansari on Saturday supported AMU students' demand for action against intruders who created ruckus on the varsity campus over Jinnah portrait issue on 2 May, when he was present there for an event, and said their peaceful stir against the “transgression” is commendable.

Former vice-president Hamid Ansari. Reuters

Former vice-president Hamid Ansari. Reuters

The event where Ansari was to be conferred the life membership of the Aligarh Muslim University Students Union was cancelled due to the alleged violence by right wing Hindu activists.

Ansari, who has studied at AMU, said the disruption, its precise timing, and the "excuse manufactured for justifying it", raises questions.

"The peaceful protest by the (AMU) students against this transgression is commendable. They must ensure that it does not in any way interfere with their academic pursuits.

“Their request that action be taken against the intruders and disruptors, after a judicial enquiry, is justified. The authorities of the AMU have made a similar request,” he said in a letter to AMU Students Union.

He said the programme of the day, including an address by him on 2 May in the Kennedy Auditorium, was publicly known. The authorities concerned had been intimated officially and were cognizant of the standard arrangements including security for such occasions.

“In view of it, the access of the intruders to close proximity of the University Guest House where I was staying remains unexplained,” he said.

The former vice president also thanked the AMU Students Union and its office bearers for conferring the honour on him.

“However, disruptions earlier that afternoon by intruders and anti-social elements inimical to the AMU resulted in the cancelling of the event.

“This has been rightly condemned by the students and teachers of AMU as also by the AMU alumni the world over,” he said.

This is the first time that the former vice president has openly spoken out against the violent protests over Mohammad Ali Jinnah's portrait in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Certain groups have been protesting the presence of Jinnah's portrait in the AMU campus and their protest led to clashes on the campus on 2 May.


Updated Date: May 12, 2018 21:06 PM

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