Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) is once again in the news following the suspension of three Kashmiri students, who had tried to offer Namaz-e-Janaza (funeral prayer) of a former research scholar-turned militant, in the campus premises. Manan Bashir Wani was killed in the wee hours of Thursday, as a gunfight allegedly ensued between the security forces and the militants.
The AMU incident came to light when at least 20 Kashmiri students gathered at Kennedy Hall allegedly to perform the prayer which is offered in the memory of the dead, after Wani’s death was reported. Wani was pursuing a doctorate in applied Geology at AMU before he joined the militant outfit earlier this year.
AMU Students’ Union President Maskoor Ahmad Usmani condemned the “furore” created by the Kashmiri students at Kennedy Hall and said, “We have zero tolerance when it comes to national security. We had written letters to the Prime Minister of India, Home Minister and DGP (Director General of Police) of Kashmir, when Manan had joined the militant outfit as per media reports. But we did not receive a single response from any one of them since his joining till his death which is very disappointing. Whatever we came to know about him, we knew only through the media.”
Usmani went on to add, “The government should think of the reasons why such a bright research scholar quit studies and joined the militant ranks. Maybe he thought that this was the only way to convey his message. The government should take this matter seriously so that no other student thinks of taking such a step.”
Former AMUSU president, Faizul Hasan, told Newsclick, “A message was being circulated on social media since morning that few Kashmiri students (freshers) had gathered at Kennedy Hall lawns to offer funeral prayers for Manan. I went there and stopped them from doing so. If they wanted to offer funeral prayers for Manan, then why did they forget to offer prayers for Mustaqueem and Naushad who were killed in the Aligarh encounter? Such unnecessary things will only defame the university.”
Mohsin Khan, Proctor of the university, was quoted by ANI, as saying that “the three Kashmiri students were suspended as they violated the university’s discipline and rules, and indulged in unlawful assembly. Four other students who supported the namaz will be issued a show-cause notice. The students and their academic details are being identified,@ he said, adding that “anti-national activities will not be tolerated in the university campus.”
When Newsclick approached him to get further details, he disconnected the phone without answering any question.
Newsclick also tried to reach some of the Kashmiri students in AMU for their statement on the issue but the calls went unanswered.