The Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has written to Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, warning of “massive student unrest” and a “probability of communal conflagration” if “certain elements” go ahead with their plan to commemorate the birthday of Raja Mahendra Pratap, a freedom fighter, on the varsity campus on December 1.
The Jat King’s birth anniversary is celebrated as Raja Mahendra Pratap Day on December 1 every year.
The BJP has planned celebrations on the AMU campus to mark the day. The same has been opposed by the ruling Samajwadi Party in the state.
In his letter to the minister, V-C Zameer Uddin Shah said the “political gamesmanship” could lead to “serious trouble”.
The V-C, however, did not name any party in his letter.
“In view of the threat of disturbance from these people, claiming to be affiliated to various political parties/outfits, another political outfit opposing them joined the fray and announced that they would not allow the rally to be held. This political gamesmanship, if allowed to proceed, has potential for serious trouble,” the V-C said in the letter.
Zameer had earlier also met leaders of BJP and ABVP to discuss the matter.
Uttar Pradesh BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai had announced plans for celebrating the birthday of the Jat King, who had donated land for the university, on the AMU campus.
This kicked up a political row, with the SP vowing to oppose it.
AMU, meanwhile, has decided not to allow any such programme.
University spokesperson Rahat Abrar was quoted as saying by an English daily that AMU will not organise the programme on the campus at all.
The AMU Student’s Union (AMUSU) has also now back-tracked on its support to the event planned at Tikonia Ground, saying the BJP or the RSS will not be allowed to organise any function inside the campus.
HRD Minister Smriti Irani today denied receiving any letter from the AMU vice chancellor. She said until she left office at 9:00 pm on Thursday she had received “no such letter and I can only react to contents once I read them and I receive a letter”.
Reacting to the AMU V-C’s letter, RS Katheria, MoS HRD, said that the BJP never organises programs which communalise atmosphere.