Senior Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Mairajuddin Ahmad on Saturday, 5 May, claimed that the controversy over a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was part of a larger conspiracy and should be investigated.
The former Uttar Pradesh minister claimed that the Bombay High Court museum, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also has a portrait of the Pakistan founder.
Meanwhile, internet services were on Friday, 4 May, suspended in Aligarh district in the wake of unrest in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) after the Jinnah portrait row.
"There will be no internet services from 2 pm today to 12 midnight tomorrow," district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
This has been done to prevent rumour mongering, he said.
It had come to the administration's notice that some anti-social elements could vitiate communal harmony by spreading rumours through videos, using internet services, his order said.
Tension prevailed in Aligarh and students continued with their sit-in at the university’s Baab-e-Syed gate, where they had clashed with the police on Wednesday. They are boycotting classes for the next two days.
The students offered Friday prayers at the scene of the dharna in which a large number of teachers and other members of the AMU fraternity participated.
Clashes on AMU Campus, Students Injured
Meanwhile, Wednesday's clash took place when the students were demanding action against right-wing protesters who entered the campus and wanted the Pakistan founder's portrait removed from the student union office, where it has been hanging for decades.
The row started after local BJP MP Satish Gautam wrote to AMU raising objections to the portrait.
The university said portraits of all life members of the student union hang there. Jinnah, a founder member of the University Court, had also been given this honour before Partition.
AMU vice chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Friday visited the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital where three of the students injured in the police lathi-charge are being treated.
The VC later visited the protesting students and assured them of his "solidarity".
AMU Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) has sent a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind asking him to “urgently institute” a high-level judicial probe into the incident.
They said members of certain outfits entered the campus and disrupted the peaceful academic environment there.
The teachers also plan a peace march up to the district collectorate.
AMUTA secretary Najmul Islam told PTI that they have urged the President to treat the matter seriously as it involved a breach in the security of former vice president Hamid Ansari.
Ansari was supposed to be felicitated at the university the day the violence broke out.
Islam said protesters who had entered the campus were reportedly carrying firearms.
He said the police, instead of preventing the hooligans from entering the campus, "remained mute spectators".
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