AMU students block highway, demand release of arrested student

Last Updated 27 January 2020, 08:14 IST

Hundreds of AMU students overnight blocked traffic on the main Aligarh-Moradabad Highway demanding release of a student who was held for allegedly heckling the AMU Vice Chancellor during his Republic Day speech, a university official said on Monday.

The blockade, which started on Sunday evening, continued till 2 am, the official said.

AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor was on Sunday heckled by a group of students during his Republic Day speech here soon after he termed as "unfortunate" the recent happenings on the campus and said peaceful protests will be allowed on any issue within the ambit of law.

Four students identified as Tahir Azmi, Rafiuddin, Sudhir Gulati and A Mujtaba Faraz, who were involved in the heckling, were handed over to police.

In the afternoon, a group of protesters collected at the gate of the AMU Proctor's office demanding the release of the four.

Three students were later released by the police.

AMU Proctor, Prof Afifullah Khan, said three students had been released whereas Faraz was sent to jail.

As the news spread in the campus, huge crowds of protesters started collecting near the Purani Chungi gate of the University and blocked the Aligarh-Moradabad Highway.

In view of the protests, exams of the AMU Engineering College were cancelled on Monday.

AMU Proctor, Prof Afifullah Khan told PTI, "The examinations which were to be held at the AMU Engineering College on Monday could not be held” as a large number of protesters collected at the gates of the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering.

Referring to the students' demand for the release of Faraz, the Proctor said a group of teachers and top university officials have met senior district officials and, “We are hopeful that Faraz will be out on bail”.

The AMU campus has been witnessing protests against the amended Citizenship Amendment Bill and over 1200 students, including those not identified, have been booked in about a dozen odd cases connected to different protests.

The students are also demanding the resignation of top University officials for "failing" to secure justice for those students who were allegedly the victim of police excesses during anti-CAA protests.

Security arrangements in and around the AMU campus have been further beefed up.

(Published 27 January 2020, 08:14 IST)

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