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Muslims smell conspiracy against AMU 
By S U Rahman

The arrest of a student in the Aligarh Muslim University campus last month has snowballed into a major controversy. Rumour-mongers, working overtime, have done their job well in blowing it out of proportion. But the good thing in this whole episode is the reasonably responsible behaviour of the AMU student community and teachers’ role in calming down students.

It all started when a students of Hakeem Ajmal Khan Tibbiya College of AMU was arrested by the state police amid suspicious circumstances. No authority including the vice chancellor or university registrar were informed regarding the arrest of Abdul Mubeen, an internee in the Tibbiya College. He was arrested for his alleged involvement in several cases of bomb blasts including one in Agra and another in Sabarmati Express on the eve of Independence Day. The police also alleged that he was in contact with several terrorist organizations including Hizbul Mujahideen and ISI. The police projected Abdul Mubeen and Marghoob, who was arrested from Agra, as members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and branded the Muslim students outfit as anti-national.

Things seemed to be going out of control when the 27000-strong students community of the university came out on the road demanding the police to release a fellow university student who they claimed had nothing to do with terrorism or anti-national activity. In the meantime the students of Habib Hall, a university hostel, where Mubin stayed till his arrest, nabbed an Intelligence Bureau sleuth while he was loitering in the hostel. Allegedly he was roughed up by students. He later admitted before students and then in a press conference attended by SP and DSP that Mubeen was innocent and that he was not carrying the RDX as was charged, but it was he who had placed the RDX in his luggage. He also said that he was not saying this under any pressure. This was never covered by the ‘national’ media. A number of saffron organizations have shown sympathy with Rajan Sharma, the IB sleuth and have vowed to get justice for their ‘brother’. Meanwhile, the university has suspended four students who are alleged to be behind the illegal detention of Rajan Sharma.

On the other hand, it was malevolently propagated that the whole university has become a hideout of anti-national elements. A section of media, especially Hindi newspapers, danced to the tunes of rumor-mongers and flashed baseless stories on their cover pages regarding the university and students. It has been interpreted as a step to create a havoc in the minds of people. A section of people tried to impress upon the authorities to close down the university whereas some saffron organizations asked the government to permanently close the university. They thought it a good opportunity to get this educational institute with a history of more than a hundred years to be closed.

But so far their campaign has been frustrated due to the deft handling of the crisis by the university authorities, though media is still full of baseless stories on AMU and Abdul Mubeen and his supposed supporters in the university. The students have shown utmost maturity in dealing with this crisis. After the initial bout of utter shock and rage, they have maintained peace in the campus and elsewhere. The cooperative attitude of teachers has also been very encouraging. They have comforted the students and have been a sort of help for the administration. It is a welcoming change since relations were normally strained between the teaching staff and university administration in the recent past since the inception of the tradition of bureaucrats’ appointment as vice chancellors. This gulf reached its height during the reign of the previous VC.

In the meantime the whole Muslim community has come out in the university’s support. People of all walk of life and Muslim leaders from all factions of the community have come out openly in the support of the students. A number of people, irrespective of their party affiliation have visited the university and comforted the students who are under immense pressure. 

When The Milli Gazette asked the general secretary of the Jamaat-e Islami Hind Maulana Muhammad Jafar whether the university may be closed, pat came the answer that its closure will not be possible. He added that the rumours and media campaign may be aimed towards maligning the name and reputation of the university. He added that it was not proper to enter a hostel without informing the university authorities. He also said that the surreptitious arrest of Abdul Mubeen was not good. At least the university authorities had to be informed before arresting him. None was informed even after 30 hours of his arrest. When asked that what he thinks of government attitude during this crisis, he said that the government’s attitude was wrong on both counts, 1) arrest of Mubeen and 2) IB sleuth sneaking into the hostel. Without taking the authorities into confidence it was idiotic to do so. When asked as to what he thinks about the demands to ban the SIMI due to its alleged hand in anti-national activity, the secretary general said that this government is aiming every Muslim organization and not just the SIMI. Why does this government not understand that if it keeps to its present style of functioning no one will believe it even if some organization is actually involved in anti-national activities. He added that offshoots of the Saffron Brigade deserve more to be banned due to their proved involvement in a number of riots and acts of violence. It is they who are poisoning the communally-friendly environment of the country. 

E. Ahamed of the Indian Union Muslim League has advised the government not to dilute the minority status of the university. He has also advised both the central and state government not to implicate the university in baseless allegations. he also denounced the campaign to tarnish the image of the university. Ahamed also criticized the campaign to attach the university’s name with the ISI.

Maulana Ataur-Rahman Qasmi of Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (Salim Group) who visited the university and met VC and students has deplored the campaign to malign the university’s name. The Maulana also criticized the behaviour of the UP police in arresting a student of the university without informing the university authorities. He appreciated the calm and reasonable attitude of the students at this time of crisis. 

Students unions of several universities including the JNU have come out in support of the AMU students and have asked for a judicial enquiry about the episode.

In the meantime, VHP has demanded a ban on five Muslim organizations including the SIMI, Jamaat-e Islami and Tablighi Jamaat. Muslim analysts said it’s the VHP and Bajrag Dal which should be banned instead for indulging in violence, inciting communal riots, minority-bashing and trying to usurp State functions.
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