AMU campus violence leaves two dead, RAF deployed
The violence left an expelled student dead on Saturday midnight, while another youth, who was injured in the clash, succumbed to injuries in hospital on Sunday, AMU spokesman Rahat Abrar said.
Violence erupted on the campus around on Saturday midnight, following a clash between two student groups leading to the death of Mahtab, DIG (Aligarh Range) Govind Agarwal, who led the police operation, said.
Agarwal said trouble started when a resident of Mumtaz hostel was assaulted and his room set afire. The victim rushed to the Proctor’s office to file a complaint. As soon as news of the incident spread, students belonging to two rival factions gathered and a clash broke out.
The police said Mahtab was shot dead late Saturday night near the Proctor’s office, where the warring groups exchanged fire, set ablaze a jeep and over half-a-dozen motorbikes, besides indulging in arson and torching the Proctor’s office building.
Mohd Waqif, who was critically wounded in the firing, was rushed to Delhi where he succumbed to injuries.
According to AMU officials, Waqif was not a student but was seeking admission to the university and staying near the campus to prepare for the engineering entrance test.
An AMU official said tension between the rival groups, belonging to Azamgarh and Sambhal regions of Uttar Pradesh, had been simmering for quite some time now.
The police said an FIR was registered against eight persons, including Mohsin Iqbal, a student of MA (Political Science) and seven others – most of whom are outsiders and former students, in connection with the violence.
RAF personnel have been deployed at all sensitive spots, especially in view of the entrance test for the engineering college scheduled for Sunday. Over 13,000 candidates are appearing for the test from the AMU campus centre alone.
The entrance test, however, passed off peacefully amid strong security measures though an uneasy calm prevailed on the campus, District Magistrate Balkar Singh said.
Vice-Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer Uddin Shah attributed the violence to faction-fight between rival groups of students, in which most of those involved were former students – including some expelled ones. Shah said preliminary reports indicated that all those involved in the violence were “occupying hostel rooms illegally”.
He said in the next two weeks, “a major clean-up” operation would be conducted in different hostels with the help of RAF and the local police. The drive would take place without closing the University sine die, he said.
Shah said that after June 6, when the university closes for the summer vacation, all hostel rooms would be vacated and students would be allowed re-entry only after fresh allotments.