Wednesday, June 9, 2010

AMU: No Dissent, Vengeance and LIU and Mystery

Students targeted for practicing Freedom of Speech and Expression at AMU

The present AMU administration has shown a despicable record in terms of respecting the freedom of speech and expression of the AMU students who as Indian Citizens must enjoy their right under article 19(1)(a) of Indian Constitution. In the recent Press Release the AMU authorities are only shedding crocodile tears about their care for girls students of I.G and Abdullah Hall as if they never did anything to expose the AMU girls towards “outside vulnerability”. In a RTI reply vide D.No.972/IGH dated 22.05.2010 ( Provost, I.G.Hall reply to query no.4 as “Only one student of M.A(English) Ms. Samina Parveen was transferred by the order of the Vice-Chancellor from Halls of Residence to NRSC since she indulged in an argument with the Vice-Chancellor”. So our dear AMU administration very happily exposed a girl to outside “vulnerability” in 24 hours by transferring her to NRSC (simply throwing out of hostel) as she committed a grievous crime in a democratic country like India that she argued with the Vice-Chancellor.

In the recent times, another Mass Communication student Mr.Afaq Ahmad, who brought unimaginable development in the Dining Hall functioning at AMU and suspended since April 22, 2010 for shooting a documentary inside the Hall premises on his experience with the Dining Hall system at V.M.Hall was also denied of his fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. I filed an RTI to the CAPIO of AMU which was received with vide Ref No. 98/CAPIO/F/10-11 dated 28/04/2010 about the grounds for arbitrary suspension of Mr.Afaq Ahmad, M.Phil, Mass Comm by Vice-Chancellor, AMU. In reply to my question where I asked whether a student need permission from Provost or not to shoot a video inside a Hall, Provost, B.R.Ambedkar Hall in the RTI reply vide D.No 93/BRH dated 29.05.2010 accepted (which is applicable to all Halls of Residences also), “ As per record there is no Rule/Ordinances/ Regulation explicitly prohibiting making of video clip of Hall without the permission of the Provost.”

In the most blunt confession about snatching the fundamental right of students of freedom of speech and expression, the Proctor Office in reply to same RTI vide D.No 139/Proc dated 01.06.2010 accepted that peaceful democratic protest like signature campaign is seen as pressure tactic by the University authorities and thereby it is a punishable offence considered by them. Please see the reply to the Question no.4 in the RTI reply by Proctor Office. The Proctor Office in the same RTI in reply to Question No.5 also accepted that pasting of news paper cuttings/posters on the walls of the Hall and other premises of the university would also be dealt harshly with the students( they may face severe punishment). Now there is no specific board arranged by the university authorities in the whole university where student can paste their posters or any other items, the earlier one present at the entrance of Moulana Azad Library was also removed so that student cant convey any message through this medium. So it is a usual practices in this Vice-Chancellor’s regime that student paste their materials near the place Office Notifications get pasted (as if they don’t disfigure the walls). So systematically this AMU administration has also robbed off the students their fundamental right of freedom of expression by making it punishable to paste any poster/pamphlets in the whole university. See the Afaq Bhai RTI and the Reply by CPIO, Proctors Office and CPIO, BR Ambedkar Hall here-

Now the question is, in a situation where we do not agree to a decision made by the AMU authorities what are the options available to us to register our dissent? If we participate in signature campaign leave alone any rally or procession we would be punished for no reason. If we paste any poster/ news papers cutting we would be punished for no reason. Where is the place for dissent then? Should we become suicide bomber to register our protest? This AMU has no difference with Hitlers Nazi Regime where dissent was not tolerated at any cost.


The first story of Local Intelligence Unit was published in the March 8 edition of Outlook with the headline “Class Monitors” on the basis of a RTI reply ( procured by a RTI Activist Mr.Mohd. Chaman, a 4th grade AMU employee and Former AMU Court Member( In this article Vice-Chancellor AMU defended its presence at the campus by stating that, “It helps maintain campus peace and security. There’s nothing secretive about the LIU and it is not policing.” After Dr.Siras controversy rocked the AMU administration and LIU’s involvement in the sting operation was exposed, this dreaded Local Intelligence Unit was covered in the articles published in India Today, Frontline and all national media. Till then LIU was known to be teemed with salaried employees but Proctor, AMU went on record in the Indian Express news published in the first page on April 11, 2010 “Shadow of AMU’s spy wing in Siras Sting” stating that students are also employed by the Proctor Office as spy in the campus. Proctor Md Zubair Khan confirmed: “There is such a proctorial team on the university. You can call it a local intelligence unit where students give information about campus activities and unwanted elements. But after a huge public outcry over the presence of a spy agency first time in any educational institution in India the entire AMU administration started denying its presence including the Vice-Chancellor and started calling it mere “watch and ward” team but LIU remained active in the campus and performed their spy activities. Then came the news on LIU “Is there a spy wing in Aligarh Muslim University” ( that was published by most of the news agency which alleged that LIU was involved in suspending Mr.Afaq Ahmad, M.Phil, Dept. of Mass Communication, A.M.U. In continuation to Mr.Afaq’s story, after his suspension Indian Express published news called “Now, AMU suspends student for ‘threatening’ V-C” where they stated that though Proctor denied the presence of LIU and called it “Watch and Ward” yet the suspension order of Mr. Afaq Ahmad mentioned it(

I had always been a strong critic of such a spy agency maintained by Proctor Office,AMU where students and people are employed for the purpose for keeping an eye on students and teachers of the university as it should not exist in any democratic institution. Secondly in the RTI, where Proctor Office accepted LIU exist in AMU and that they spend 1.2 lack/month in paying the salaries to LIU people, the CPIO/Budget of AMU in the letter vide D.No.990/FO dated 30.10.09 stated AMU doesn’t have any fund meant for LIU or anything. So the question arrives who pays for the 14 lack/annum spend on this spy agency? Is it the Miscellaneous fund of the students or any other fund meant for development?

To know the history and involvement of students in Local Intelligence Unit, I filed an RTI received at Proctor Office vide R.No 191/Proc dated 17.04.2010 asking 7 points in detail. When already in an RTI reply vide D.No 91/Proc dated 17.11.2009 Proctor Office not only accepted Local Intelligence Unit exist at Aligarh Muslim University but also provided the name of those persons employed as LIU, their salaries etc to my utter surprise the Proctors Office informed me in reply to my RTI application vide D.No 130/Proc dated 12.05.2010 ( that, “there is no LIU Unit at the Proctors Office”.

In the meantime, I received in reply to the RTI application regarding Afaq Bhai’s case the copy of “Confidential” letter sent by the Provost, V.M.Hall vide D.No 29/VMH dated 6th April, 2010 to the Vice-Chancellor where he mentioned that “some resident members of VM Hall, belonging to a particular ideology”( it speaks a volume how AMU administration works for the dissenters) especially Mr. Afaq Ahmad, M.Phil Mass Communication “ have really created a lot of mess” and “it may be confirmed from the LIU report” clearly mentioned on the 2nd page of the same letter. The letter itself states how in a democratic institution like AMU students are handpicked and butchered.

So now the question is, if LIU don’t exist as per the latest RTI reply by the Proctors Office, AMU, then why

  1. Provost, VM Hall of AMU mentioned about the “LIU Report” to the Vice-Chancellor so that he may rely on what he is stating?
  2. Prof.Irfan Habib, Professor Emeritus, Dept of History in the Telelka Hindi(UP edition) of 30th April, 2010 stated that the culture of employing spies exist here since 1981? We can’t deny his authority on AMU administration. So if AMU Proctors Office in 7 months vanish the LIU in two contradicting RTI replies then for the last 30 years who paid the salaries of these LIU people? Is it students who were made to pay through different funds for this LIU?

My suspension and campus ban has come at a time when I was very close in my first stint as Investigative Journalist to reveal the cloudy and mysterious history of employing and funding spooks at the Aligarh Muslim University which is sponsored by many influential administrators of my alma mater. I had already filed the First Appeal to the Appellate Authority on 31.05.2010 as I found the answer from the CPIO, Proctor Office “misleading and incomplete” and next I would have proceeded against the Central Information Commission, New Delhi which will for sure appoint a committee to get all the information about such mysterious undemocratic agencies.

The reason for my suspension as writing on yahoogroups or blocking an empty road at dead night at AMU is just an eyewash. As I said earlier, not only my anti-administration stand on Dr.Siras issue, CCTV and above all LIU but also with all these RTI exercises which exposed the moral bankruptcy of the AMU administrators and their desperate and undemocratic attitude to crush any student’s voice of dissent has led to my suspension and such unseen campus ban. But truth shall prevail in the end. I dream so, I believe so, I feel so.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent and well-thought article-filled with facts and findings. I appreciate your hard work and joint endeavour regarding revoking freedom of speech and expression of the students at AMU.