AMU unrest — Ghazali Khan demands release of Sharjeel Usmani

Hyderabad: The student activists being arrested, be it Jamia Millia Islamia’s Safoora Zargar and Meeran Haider or Jawaharlal Nehru Univesity’s (JNU) Sharjeel Imam, have made international headlines.

The recent arrest of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student Sharjeel Usmani, who was arrested for taking part in the anti-CAA protests and wielding his pen about violence against Indian Muslims, prompted a noted alumni to call out his alma-mater’s Vice-Chancellor (VC) for throwing Usmani under the bus.

London-based journalist of the Urdu Media Monitor, Ghazali Khan, wrote an open letter to VC Tariq Mansoor expressing shock that his own institution has refused to recognise Usmani as a student.

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“I have been watching with immense pain and great dismay your administration’s heavy-handedness in dealing with the students who were using their democratic and constitutional right to protest against the most absurd and shameful piece of legislation in Indian legal history,” writes Khan.  

Evoking the University’s rich history as an educational boon to Indian Muslims like himself and Mansoor, he reminded him of how the community has bestowed upon him the responsibility of carrying forward AMU’s legacy. That too, in a time where the ruling dispensation is out to annihilate the rich culture and tradition of institutions like JMI, JNU and AMU.

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While Khan did also acknowledge the pressures that Mansoor must be facing from “A shamelessly anti-Muslim government” to crush dissent, the former did remind him of Judgment Day — when people’s actions will count more than the high positions they held.

Khan has requested the VC to help dispense justice to Sharjeel and support him against the powers that be. 

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