Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Wednesday met Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh to discuss matters related to the institution, whichhas seen violence and protests over a portrait of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the past week, PTI reported.
Singh reportedly assured Mansoor of the Centre’s help in restoring normalcy in the university, the news agency quoted an unidentified official as saying. The university official, however, later claimed that the meeting had been fixed long back, and had nothing to do with the current situation at the campus.
“I have requested the home minister to send central government officials for the recruitment of students in central services like the engineering service,” he told reporters. Jinnah’s portrait had been on display at the university students’ union hall since 1938 and the controversy surrounding it was a “non issue”, he added. The university had already called for a judicial inquiry into the row, Mansoor said.
On Tuesday, Mansoor urged the university students to focus on their studies instead of protesting. The students are demanding police action against Hindutva activists who barged into the campus on May 2 and allegedly beat them for refusing to take down the portrait. Mansoor told the students “not fall into the trap of certain forces which are bent upon destroying the image of our alma mater and are playing with your bright future”. He accused a section of the media, including television channels, of using “half truths” to tarnish the university’s image.