AMU authorities praise SSP, DM for handling of protest

AMU authorities praise SSP, DM for handling of protest

Police personnel stand guard outside Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) as students protest against the passing of Citizenship Amendment Bill. PTI

A video clip showing the Aligarh senior superintendent of police precariously clambering over a barricade and successfully persuading a highly charged crowd of about 5,000 protestors at the Aligarh Muslim University to keep calm last Friday has gone viral on social media here.

The clip vividly shows how precarious the condition was that day "and how deft and firm handling can defuse even a touch-and-go situation", said Rahat Abrar, a senior AMU official, who was present close by when Aligarh SSP Akash Kulhari walked unarmed into the crowd of protestors despite opposition from his aides.

In the video clip, the SSP is seen repeatedly appealing to students, protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, to keep calm and not to break the law.

"You have a right to protest, but this protest has to be within the limits of democratic freedom. If you break these limits, then I too have the right to protect the law of the land. If you remain peaceful, I will stand by you," SSP Kulhari is heard telling the crowd after clambering over a police barricade.

"Somehow his words struck a chord and those who wanted to break the cordon of nearly 300 armed security personnel were persuaded to heed the police officer's advice to hand over their memorandum, addressed to the chief justice of India on the Citizenship Amendment Act, to the district magistrate," Abrar recalled.

AMU Proctor Afifullah Khan, who along with some senior faculty members were also in the forefront with police officers, trying to calm the mob, told PTI, "We must give credit to both the SSP and DM Chandra Bhushan Singh who showed tremendous patience and courage by walking into the protesting crowd and accepting their memorandum inside the campus."

Prof Khan said, "The protest was peaceful, but we had strong apprehensions that if the boys moved beyond the gates of the registrar's office, some external mischievous elements could mix up with them and the situation could have gone out of control."

"Hats off to the SSP, whose words of wisdom carried the day," Khan said.

Meanwhile, heavy security arrangements continue to be in place at all sensitive spots around the campus.

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