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AMU Students Allege FIR for Dec 6 Event Lodged Under Political Pressure

AMU students held an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
AMU Students Allege FIR for Dec 6 Event Lodged Under Political Pressure

AMU. Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Lucknow: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students against whom the police registered a first information report (FIR) on Saturday for holding an event on the campus on December 6 to mark the 30th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid have alleged that pressure by Hindutva groups prompted the police action.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is with Newsclick, the case was registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 188 (disobedience of 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). 

The case was registered by the Civil Lines Police Station on the basis of a complaint filed by officer-in-charge Pravesh Rana, Aligarh assistant superintendent of police Kuldeep Singh Gunawat informed Newsclick.

A group of AMU students marked December 6 as Black Day, raised slogans and made objectionable statements while carrying placards displaying derogatory comments,” Rana said. The protest was held even as prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had been imposed in the district, he added. 

Right-wing organisations, including Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Bajrang Dal and Hindu Yuva Vahini, held a Mahapanchayat a day after the event demanding action against the students and threatening to organise Shaurya Diwas on the AMU campus on December 13 if action was not taken against the students. 

Slogans were raised on the campus against the Hindu religion and the Supreme Court order on Ram Mandir. We cannot tolerate that at any cost,” BJYM leader Amit Goswami told local reporters, according to Scroll.

Salman Gauri, pursuing a master’s in Quranic studies, who was booked for participating in the march said that it was not a protest march but a “small gathering of students” who remembered the demolition. “Whatever happened to Babri Masjid on December 6 should not be repeated with other mosques. I was there as a spectator, not as a speaker. I did not speak a single word during the discussion. The action against me was taken under political pressure,” he alleged.

Another student Fareed Mirza booked for hurting religious sentiment told Newsclick, “No protest or rally was organised on December 6. Students standing or sitting in a gathering doesn’t mean hurting religious sentiments. Nobody raised slogans against the state government or any religion.”

The students only “remembered how our Constitution was flouted on December 6, the same day Bhim Rao Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution, died. People took the law in their hands and what they did with Babri Masjid is not hidden”, Mirza alleged adding that the case against him was lodged under the “pressure of Hindutva outfits”.

The administration said that the action was taken as we violated Section 144 of the CrPC but AMU does not fall under the city as it is an autonomous body. Even if we assume it’s under the city and Section 144 was applicable, can’t we do anything inside the campus?” he said alleging that the case against him is “baseless”.

Zaki-ur-Rahman, a student of linguistics, told Newsclick that a “group of students took out a protest march from the library canteen to Chunki Market in a democratic way. After reaching there, a public discussion was organised. No student said a single word against any religion or made any remarks against the Supreme Court decision”.

Rahman alleged that Hindu outfits are “exaggerating the issue and pressuring the district administration to arrest AMU students. Otherwise, they have threatened to organise a rally”.

Muslims are also the citizens of this country and they have every right to protest in a democratic way. Furthermore, when the apex court admitted in its judgement that Babri Masjid was demolished by Karsewaks, what is wrong in celebrating December 6 as Black Day? By lodging FIR against the students, the administration is attacking the democratic structure and the Constitution,” Rahman further alleged.

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