Students boycott classes at AMU over Holi clash between 2 groups

AMU spokesman Omar Peerzada told PTI that "a false narrative" was being spread by some misguided elements that AMU authorities on Thursday prevented holding of Holi celebrations on the campus.

Aligarh: A section of Aligarh Muslim University students on Friday boycotted classes over a row over Holi celebration on campus.

The student leaders asked others not to attend classes against what they called a “one-sided action” by the authorities in connection with a clash between two groups during a Holi celebration Thursday night.

According to a senior university official, shortly after classes began Friday morning, a group of students arrived at some faculties and managed to dissuade students from attending classes and called for an “indefinite boycott.”

MS Education Academy

AMU spokesman Omar Peerzada told PTI that “a false narrative” was being spread by some misguided elements that AMU authorities on Thursday prevented holding of Holi celebrations on the campus.

“Nothing could be further from the truth as AMU has always prided itself in being a repository of syncretic culture and celebration of the festival of colour is an essential part of this culture,” he said.

“We want the festival to be celebrated without taking recourse to setting up a new precedent which could have impinged upon the sensibilities of the other sections,” Peerzada added.

Aditya Pratap Singh, the student who had sought permission for holding a special ‘Holi Milan’, said he was confronted by some “radical elements” Thursday night over his request.

He said he was targeted because he was “exercising his democratic right to celebrate his festival.”

A group of students held a dharna at the Babey Sir Syed Gate Friday afternoon demanding an FIR in connection with last night’s clash between two groups at the Zakir Hussain College.

They decried the “one-sided” action taken by the authorities in the matter.

About 50 students signed a memorandum challenging the sequence of events mentioned in the FIR filed by Aditya Pratap Singh Thursday night.

The signatories demanded action against Singh for “trying to vitiate the atmosphere of communal amity which is prevailing at the campus.”

According to their memorandum, on Thursday night, some students at the Engineering College were in the middle of Holi celebration, when some “armed outsiders” barged in and used offensive comments against some female students, which was objected to by the students.

Addressing the protestors, student leader Mohamad Naved on Friday, blamed the AMU authorities for not bringing to light these key incidents before the police and district officials.

He charged the AMU authorities for “mishandling” the issue at a time when national elections were round the corner and emotive issues were whipped up by political parties on different pretexts.

Peerzada said that the university administration was determined to maintain a peaceful and cordial atmosphere on the campus.

He added round-the-clock vigil was being maintained for ensuring complete peace and normalcy on campus.

Meanwhile, Nitish Sharma, former media in-charge and district spokesperson of the BJP, in a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath demanded strong punitive action against “radical anti-national elements” at AMU.

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