Anti-CAA protests intensify at Aligarh Muslim University
Aligarh (UP): Protests at Aligarh Muslim University's women college against the new citizenship law intensified on Thursday with hundreds of students blocking its entry points, as the exam boycott at the AMU's engineering college continued for the fourth successive day.
The protesters, including schoolgirls, locked the gates from inside and formed a human chain to prevent teaching staff from entering the campus on Marris Road.
A university official said police had been posted at the college gates as a precautionary measure. He added, "While a section of the girls are ready to end the deadlock and resume attending classes, some others are still refusing."
Later Thursday, Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor tried to reassure students in a video appeal that all their issues from now on will be dealt without involving any "external agency".
Students had been concerned that the university could once again call the police force into the campus to quell their protest against the amended citizenship law, as done on December 15.
The students wanted the VC to assure them that all "false cases" registered against their colleagues during the past six weeks would be withdrawn and there will be "no further
police action or harassment" against them for protesting peacefully.
In the video message, the vice chancellor said he "deeply regretted" the incidents on December 15 and the booking of students by police. "I want to assure students I will take up these matters with police and no innocent student will be framed."
The VC said peaceful dissent "is the right of every student" and every educational institution can debate any issue which disturbs the student community. He said the university administration was empowering the proctorial team, members of the teaching community and pro-proctors to tackle all situations pertaining to law and order issues within the campus.
However, the boycott of examinations at the varsity's Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology continued for the fourth consecutive day.
AMU spokesman Omar Peerzada said some classes were held for the first time to end the impasse after Prof Sufiyan Beg, principal of the engineering college, assured the students that their demands raised during Wednesday's meeting with the VC would be considered favourably.
"Talks are underway with the protesters to resolve the situation," the spokesman
said, appearing optimist that the problems would be