Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Administration revoked the suspension of Kashmiri students who were also charged with sedition in relation to the protest march organised at AMU following the encounter of Manan Wani. The students were accused of raising anti-India slogans and holding namaz-e-janaza (prayer meeting) for Manan Wani. Manan Bashir Wani was a Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was encountered by the Indian army at Handwara district. He was pursuing his PhD in geology from the University before he joined Hizbul.
In a response given to the press, AMU PRO Omar Peerzada said, “A three-member committee had been constituted to look into the matter, which concluded that the ‘suspension will be harsh for their act and conduct’. Based on the evidence found by the committee it was decided that the suspension order be revoked.” Sharjeel Usmani, a student of AMU, talked to TWJ correspondent that on the 11th, when the news came out that Manan had been encountered, around 200 Kashmiri students assembled near the Kennedy Hall of the campus. “Some people came to oppose them. The proctor came with around 60-70 security personnel. Proctor office was told that they have gathered there to offer Namaaz-e-Janaza. This is not true. They were sitting there and discussing the situation in Kashmir. The students who opposed this started manhandling the Kashmiri students in the presence of the proctor and they dispersed,” he said.
The AMU proctorial office later send show cause notices to 9 students and 9 of them were suspended. “When we received the list, we got to know that out of 9, 7 have already passed from the campus and only two were present at the situation which clearly means that the suspension happened without an enquiry process,” Sharjeel said.
Following this, Mehbooba Mufti, former J&K Chief Minister, called for the intervention of central government to the issue and also demanded that sedition charges be dropped. Students of AMU also called for a protest to condemn the university decision, where around 1200 Kashmiri students threatened to leave the campus en masse.
“When we asked the proctor about the suspension, he responded that he was given a list of 9 students from the intelligence. Later we came to know that 3 of them were charged with sedition as well by the district police. This is when Kashmiri students in the campus declared that if it is not revoked, they would leave the campus as they don’t feel safe here,” says Sharjeel. Following the submission of the enquiry committee report and repeated deliberations came the decision to revoke the suspension.
“The lack of proper enquiry suggests that they consider all Kashmiri students as potential terrorists. We then decided to launch a protest and all students who were in solidarity joined. At the end of this, the suspension was revoked. However, we haven’t heard from the police yet regarding the sedition charges,” Sharjeel adds. ABVP has also marked its protest against reinstating the suspended students. They called the decision a clear case of blackmailing by the Kashmiri students and condemned the same.