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Respect AMU’s autonomy: Muslim intellectuals’ body to government

A body of Muslim intellectuals, which includes senior faculty members of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), has taken strong exception to what it felt was “undue intervention” in the affairs of the varsity in connection with the row over UG girl students’ access to AMU’s main library.

In the wake of the Union HRD Minister’s missive to the varsity over the issue of access to undergraduate girls to its central library, the Millat Bedari Muhim Committee (MBMC) here passed a resolution last night urging the government to respect the autonomy of leading national institutions like AMU.

MBMC secretary Jasim Mohammad told reporters it was strange that the HRD Ministry was in a tearing hurry to issue a notice to the AMU Vice Chancellor merely on the basis of a news report which was patently false without even bothering to ascertain facts.

He said that the report of a diktat by the V-C banning the entry of girls into the AMU’s main Maulana Azad library was a blatant lie.

“Each day hundreds of girls visit the library and anybody can vouch for it,” he said.

Undergraduate girls and that too of non-professional courses are not eligible for a library card but this proviso has been there since the library was established more than half-a-century back, he said.

“How has this issue overnight become a threat to the rights of Muslim women,” he added.

AMU Vice Chancellor Zameer Uddin Shah came under attack earlier this week over his controversial remarks regarding the access of undergraduate girls to a varsity library with HRD Minister Smriti Irani having termed the matter an “insult to daughters”.

The VC courted controversy as he turned down a demand by the students of the varsity’s Women’s College for access to the main library, saying there would be “more boys” in the library if girls were allowed there.

However, responding to the row, AMU had cited space constraints while refuting the charge of having a “sexist approach”.

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