AMU Students Booked for Pro-Palestine Slogans; Minister Says 'All Terrorists'

Students say they exercised their right to show support to Palestine but a minister called AMU a 'terrorist hub'.

4 min read
Hindi Female

An act of showing solidarity for Palestine amid the recent clashes between Israel and Hamas, has come at a heavy price for students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). More than four students have been booked by the local police for carrying out a protest march.

During the night of 8 October, hundreds of AMU students took out a protest march from their Duct Point to the Bab-e-Syed gate of the campus. Videos accessed by The Quint shows them holding posters and raising slogans in support of the Palestinian cause and against the systemic oppression by Israel.

However, the police swung into action and filed an FIR, naming four students - Atif, Khalid, Naved and Kamran among others - alleging that they raised "objectionable" slogans.

Meanwhile, UP labour minister Dr Raghuraj Singh has openly called AMU "a hub of terrorists."


'We Stand Against the Oppression': AMU Students

In the FIR accessed by The Quint, several IPC sections have been imposed such as:

  • 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.)

  • Section 188 (criminalises any deliberate disobedience of an order that is duly promulgated by a public servant). Last but not the least, section 505 which entails statements creating or promoting enmity.

We did not say anything that was provocative in the march, we never used any objectionable words. We spoke about India's support to Palestine historically and even said 'Hindustan Zindabad,' it is all being misinterpreted.
Khalid, AMU student

Chanting slogans of "!" and "Allahu-Akbar," the students had walked within the campus in a peaceful protest. Speaking to the media, Khalid had said in the protest:

"Palestine has been facing oppression since over 70 years, our sisters, brothers and elders there... we have been seeing it on a daily basis the torture they face and it has not ended yet. Hence, our protest is against that oppression, and those who have lost their lives, we pray they go to heaven."

He appealed to the leaders of the country "to show solidarity" with Palestine, because "Palestine is the oppressed and Israel is the oppressor."

"What is sad is that people are not paying attention to this, when there is any resistance or action against Israel, people take notice, but when there is aggression and torture against Palestinians, then people don't pay any heed. This shows people's biases and double standards," he added.

Another student, Naved, echoing Khalid's views stated that the torture meted out to Palestinians since decades must be stopped.

AMU is an institution which, irrespective of whichever corner of the country is facing oppression, people have gathered to raise their voices against the same.
Naved, AMU student

Meanwhile, Mrigank Shekhar Pathak, SSP (city) of Aligarh said, "We got to know that the protest has been taken out with our permission and there was a march on an international conflict, wherein there were objectionable and provocative slogans, hence accordingly an FIR has been filed."

According to the students, no such permission is required if a protest is carried out within the college premises.


'All Muslims Are Terrorists': UP State Minister

"AMU has become an 'adda' (hub) for terrorists, and terrorism is an issue for every country...whether it is America or Japan...and every terrorist is Muslim," claimed Dr Raghuraj Singh, a state minister of Labour and Employment in Adityanath-led government.

In the video accessed by The Quint, he stated that since PM Modi has shown his support for Israel, it is wrong to show support to Palestine and reiterated that "AMU must be shut down immediately."

Singh stated that he has been fighting against this University since 40 years, a University which has been operating on the "basis of money of Hindus." He also alleged that AMU produced militants like Burhan Wani.

"They support Palestine hence, they are also terrorists. They should be locked up and NSA should be invoked against them. The student leaders should be hanged for saying anything against India. It is a hub, a nursery for terrorists," remarked the minister.

Meanwhile, Ashok Kumar Pandey, national spokesperson, Akhil Bhartatiya Hindu Mahasabha added to the statements made by Singh.

He said, "Our organisation has always deemed AMU as a terrorist school, today they have confirmed it that they support terrorism.

Speaking against Israel, they supported Hamas, a terrorist organisation who are saying 'Allahu Akbar' and shooting people dead, raping women and killing children. Today it has been established, those who observe Islam and are part of AMU, they are a terrorist in some way or they support terrorism.
Ashok Kumar Pandey, national spokesperson, Akhil Bhartiye Hindu Mahasabha
Pandey said that these students should be investigated on "charges of being anti-national."

It must be noted that there is a lot misinformation being circulated around with unverified reports of armed rebellion by the Hamas.

Atif, also named in the FIR stated there's more to it. He told The Quint that for the past 12 days, the students specifically named in the FIR, along with a few others have been sitting on a peaceful protest, demanding student union elections. It was then that one of them decided to hold the march to show support for Palestine.

Khalid pointed out, "Any police case can only be done via the University's proctor, they will check if anyone's guilty or not. We told the proctor to check our statements, there were so many students, why were only we named in the FIR?"

Khalid and Atif have stated they will fight the case legally as they have not committed any crime.

(With inputs from Mukesh Gupta)

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Topics:  Hamas   Palestine   AMU 

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