Former Vice President Hamid Ansari on Saturday supported the demands of students at the Aligarh Muslim University for a judicial inquiry into the violence on campus on May 2 against a portrait of Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Ansari also confirmed that he was to receive an award at a function organised in his honour at the varsity that evening.

In a letter to Aligarh Muslim University Students Union President Maskoor Ahmad Usmani, Ansari said that the college’s teachers, students and alumni had been right in condemning the violence, allegedly by Hindutva groups, on campus. The former vice president claimed the violence was suspicious due to its timing and the reason provided for it.

“The disruption, its precise timing, and the excuse manufactured for justifying it, raise questions,” Ansari wrote. “The programme of the day, including an address by me in the Kennedy Auditorium, was publicly known. The concerned authorities had been officially intimated and were cognisant of the security for such occasions. In view of this, the access of the intruders to close proximity of the university guest house I was staying at remains unexplained.”

Ansari added that while the student protests against outsiders’ entry into campus were commendable, it should not interfere with their academics.