Aligarh Muslim University students booked for ‘30 years of Babri’ program

Jibraan Uddin & Bushra Naaz

Students of the Aligarh Muslim University were booked by Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday for an event inside the campus on 6 December to mark the 30th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

During the event, the students carried posters calling December 6 as “Black Day.”

The case comes after Hindutva groups’ threatening. BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, have said that if no arrests are made in the case by Monday, they will take out a protest march to the office of Aligarh Superintendent of Police.

On 7 December, Hindutva outfits held a mahapanchayat in the city and demanded action against the Muslim students.

Hindutva outfits have also taken issue with the student-made posters and the use of a particular verse from the ghazal “Hum Dekhenge” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

According to the copy of the FIR, the police booked the students of the university under Indian Penal Code Sections 505 (statements conducting to public mischief), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 295-A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 298 (uttering words, etc with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person).

Fareed, a booked student, told Maktoob: “There was nothing objectionable in the students’ gathering we organized that day and all the allegations are baseless.” “This student gathering was not against any religion. On 6 December 1992, the constitution was mocked by the demolition of the Babri masjid, this was the only reason why we gathered and had a discussion,” he added.

Fareed argues that the accusation that he disregarded the Supreme Court’s ruling is also baseless. He said that they respect the Supreme Court’s decision.

Fareed, 24, is a B.A final-year graduate student. In the midst of ongoing exams, he claims that he is being mentally harassed due to things done to him.

The another booked student is an M.A first-year student. Salman Gauri said, “we never intended to hurt any religion. We staunchly support Hindu-Muslim unity.”

He said: “We have been implicated under a conspiracy.” Salman then asked is it not allowed for the students to have a discussion in the university premises.

Wasim Ali, the proctor at Aligarh Muslim University, said to Maktoob: “There was no protest at the university on 6 December. Only a few students gathered to express their feelings. The district administration is conducting a separate investigation into the FIR filed against the students. We and our students are prepared to offer the investigation with our fullest possible cooperation. And there is complete peace in the university.”

Aligarh Assistant Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Singh Gunawat told reporters that the accused AMU students organised a protest on the varsity campus and made offensive statements while carrying a poster with disparaging remarks written on it. In addition, Kuldeep Singh noted that the protest went on even as the district was subject to prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).