Aligarh: AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Wednesday said the university authorities made the “painful decision” to call police to the campus during a protest earlier this week as they had learnt that “anti-social elements” had infiltrated the premises.
His comments come in the wake of a simmering controversy over the Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) decision to allow police to enter the campus on Sunday as a protest against the amended Citizenship Act turned violent.
Around 70 people were injured as students fought pitched battles with police who baton-charged protesters and used tear gas to control the situation.
AMU Registrar Abdul Hamid had said on Sunday that “a request was made to the administration to use force to control the situation” after some students and unruly elements suddenly started pelting stones and also damaged property.
“On Sunday night, an angry mob of thousands had collected inside the campus and was posing an imminent danger to the lives of the students and property of the university,” Mansoor said in an open letter to students.
Left with no other option, “we had to call the police without any delay in a pre-emptive action or else it would have led to a very grave situation,” he said.
The university authorities had received credible inputs that “lumpen and anti-social elements from outside the campus had started infiltrating the campus,” Mansoor said.
He said this has been corroborated by police investigation.
According to police, only seven out of 27 people who were arrested from inside the AMU campus on Sunday night were bonafide students of the university.
The vice chancellor said this backs the university’s stand that Sunday’s violence was incited by anti-social elements from outside.
“I am extremely pained that a number of students were injured during the violent incidents and we are taking all steps to ensure that they get the best treatments in our hospitals,” Mansoor said.
“We have been informed of police excesses, including damage to vehicles,” he said.
The vice chancellor also appealed to the students to fully cooperate with the AMU authorities when the university reopens after winter vacations on January 6 so that normalcy prevails.
Soon after the violence erupted on Sunday, the AMU administration announced closure of the varsity till January 5 and hostels were vacated.
An AMU spokesperson told PTI that the process of vacating all university hostels is now complete and only about 250 residents, mostly foreign students and some from a few distant states, are still staying in the campus.
“Special arrangements are being made for their security,” he said.