Thursday, August 5, 2010

Students Demand Justice: VC Apologize for Al-Qaida remarks and fulfill our valid demands

Long time back in 1999 Vice-Chancellor Mahmoodur Rahman (An IAS Officer with close links with the BJP Government at Centre) said in The Times of India, “AMU Students bristling with ISI agents”. It caused immense damage to the image of our alma mater. Students from Aligarh Muslim University were denied jobs, people looked at them with suspicion and above all as an after affect a student from AMU Mr.Mubeen was picked up from the VM Hall in broad daylight and later branded as “terrorist”. Even today the Hindutva brigades quote that and try to malign our image.

Cut back to 2007. A time when Shivraj Patil was the Home Minister, when news of serious bomb blasts and indiscriminate illegal detention of the Muslim youths were commonplace. During the tenure of Shivraj Patil later another bloody episode happened and that was Batla House Encounter, the Govt. is still mum on this issue. Why Delhi Police killed some Azamgarh boys without proper evidence to link them with any terrorist activities remains unanswered. During this time some sections (RSS group) always jumped to conclusions in any case that “Muslims are terrorist”, our Vice Chancellor Prof.P.K.Abdul Azis, who is said to be the guardian of 30000 students of Aligarh Muslim University joined the same belief by agreeing with the fact that there may be chances that AL-QAIDA/TERRORISTS are linked with an incident of student violence at AMU. We all know at this moment CCTVs are installed at the hostels of only a single university i.e. our alma mater. Vice-Chancellor said in THE INDIAN EXPRESS on 18 April, 2010 “The initiative to upgrade security came from the Union Home Ministry “. The Vice-Chancellor sent a proposal to the Ministry for grant of Rs.10 crore and today we can see the unprecedented surveillance on AMU students worth crores of rupees. When we want books, we want hostels, we want better labs, better infrastructure, government cites lack of funds but everything was sanctioned in the name of “surveillance at AMU”. But why such interest by the Indian Government in the security of our University when they have been silent even after massive violence in other campuses?

In a TOP SECRET letter, the DM & SSP, Aligarh sent a letter to Chief Secretary(Home), UP Ministry( Copy sent to VC, AMU vide R. No 1771/VC dated 06.12.2007) with the subject SECURITY PROPOSALS AT AMU it was stated on page 2, “Jammu Kashmir & Tamil Nadu are such places where Separatist/Terrorist forces are at work, and student from such places study at AMU, therefore we can’t deny the possibility that in the disguise of students or as their relatives such forces may come to take shelter here”. The VICE-CHANCELLOR by remaining silent on this highly objectionable report and by installing CCTV here only fuelled to the oft-held belief that AMU students are terrorists. Why did he remained silent on such a report knowing that it maligns the image of our university and no one writes like this for any other university in India? And above all, as if the Vice-Chancellor sold all our interest to the same tainted Home Ministry under Shivraj Patil, he silently allowed the recording of the minutes of a meeting with the HRD Minister Arjun Singh on 29.10.07 wherein it states, “THE CHANCE OF TERRORISTS/ AL-QAIDA LINK ON THE INCIDENCE OF VIOLENCE NEED TO BE EXAMINED AT DEPTHand “ THE VISIT OF A PAKISTANI JOURNALIST AND HIS MEETING IN THE UNIVERSITY BE REPORTED WITH DETAILS”( Refer to a letter sent by P.K.Mishra, Director, Internal Security Division, Ministry of Home Affairs to the DGP, UP and VICE-CHANCELLOR, AMU vide Ref. No I.11034/1/2007-IS-IV dated 17th October, 2007). We the students of AMU, who dream for a secure future and for a life without threat at our campus wish to question the Vice-Chancellor on whether he knows the gravity of linking AL-QAIDA with AMU students? We the senior students see a possibility that tomorrow AMU students won’t get a single job anywhere with such allegations against them by their own Vice-Chancellor. We also feel that those meritorious students who wish to visit or study US/UK or other foreign countries will be debarred from entering such countries as we all know how the world hates the word AL-QAIDA. Why did our own Vice-Chancellor try to brand AMU as having links with AL-QAIDA inviting danger to all the 30000 students of our alma mater? Will he protect us when in the future when referring to this report, Police or Intelligence Bureau will pick up innocent Muslim students from AMU and let them face inhuman torture in illegal detention? The Answer is a BIG NO. We demand that Vice-Chancellor immediately seek unconditional public apology to the students, staff and Old Boys of Aligarh Muslim University for his grave mistake well published in media and dismantle the whole security infrastructure based on such highly objectionable report and inform the Centre that nothing of this sort can be thought of regarding our alma mater.

This Vice-Chancellor, besides linking an unfortunate incident at AMU with AL-QAIDA, has created an atmosphere where students are rendered voiceless and many of their grievances are demanding attention.

1. We reject Faculty-wise allotment of students in Halls- We demand that Vice-Chancellor stop such senseless allotment where senior and internal students are the worst sufferers. Students from all subjects earlier used to live together in a hostel where they grow a collective affection and inculcate general knowledge. By appointing teachers from the same faculty as Provost & Wardens Vice-Chancellor imposed a highly objectionable plan on us to suppress us by own teachers who give us marks in sessionals and viva.

2. End Dining Hall Corruption- Whereas the Dining Charge is Rs.710/month, some hostels charge Rs.300 as deficit and some Rs.20. With the same Aligarh market, with the same prices of food grains why such differences in the quality and cost of dining charges? You ask the reason! Be ready to get suspended or NRSC. Immediately end the culture of deficit and improve the quality of Dining Hall at AMU. End corruption there.

3. We demand Reduction of fees by 90%- During this Vice-Chancellor regime, the cost of every form has increased manifold unseen in the history of Aligarh Muslim University. The cost for the admission in the courses like BA/MA even doubled in this session. AMU authorities even charged for duplicate admit cards like never before. We the senior students are greatly concerned with such fee increase that has happened under a Vice-Chancellor who is known for his corruption. So we demand reduction of the existing fee structure by 90% which will benefit the poor students. We demand that AMU examination forms be sold at Rs.50 for all courses and draft/slip should be of Rs.50 like earlier.

4. We demand that the 200 year old Sulaiman Hall gate be opened immediately whose closure has caused great inconvenience for the library goers and above all the residents of Sulaiman Hall.

5. Even after allocation of 2692.61 lakhs for CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT by the UGC under XIth 5 year plan why is there no bike stand for the students which will cost merely 10 lakhs per Hall?

6. AMU off-campus centres won’t serve the interest of Muslims without reservation (Aligarh Campus has more Muslims for its historic character) and minority character and will erode the rich traditions and culture for which AMU is know from its residential character at Aligarh. We demand that decision for establishing Centres be taken back immediately and request Central Govt for full-fledged minority university in the backward regions.

7. We demand that Vice-Chancellor stop behaving callously to the cause of minority character by not sending its counsel for consecutive 3 hearings at the Supreme Court and remain focus to fight for it till we get it.

8. We demand that Moulana Azad Library be opened for 24 hours and allowed for +2 students so that meritorious students can get the benefit of better academic ambiance. We also demand that Canteen facility be provided of international quality in most of the halls and that a Central Students Canteen be opened 24 hours.

9. We demand that District Administration/Police should be kept out of the campus except in emergency situation with serious violence. We strongly reject their vigilance upon us and meddling in the day to day affairs.

10. We strongly demand campus wide wi-fi facility immediately as promised by the Vice-Chancellor back in 2008 or by room wise free internet through cable points as in IITs and others university hostels.

11. We strongly demand that the scholarship process be made transparent and published on AMU’s official website and AMU announces many more Scholarship schemes for needy and meritorious students.

12. AMU administration is known for its draconian crackdown on the students who do not get proper opportunity to defend themselves before the Disciplinary Committee. We strongly demand students’ representation in the Disciplinary Committee and balance in defending and prosecuting team.

13. We strongly demand that the Students Grievance Redressal Committee be immediately abolished because it’s defunct, has no statutory validity like AMU Court and Academic Council where already student should be present, and because its members are the puppets of University Administration as they are selected not elected.

The time has come that we all students should fight tooth and nail to save our image from such grave accusations like AL-QAIDA and get our valid demands fulfilled. Be Ready!

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