Fourteen students of Aligarh Muslim University, including some members of the AMUSU were booked under sedition charges following a scuffle with the journalists from news channel Republic TV. While nine charges including sedition were labeled against 14 students but still no action has been taken on the complaint filed by the students.
The students were charged on the basis of the complaints filed by Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha district leader Mukesh Lodhi and a Republic TV correspondent.
The university’s students union called the FIR “false and fabricated” and claimed that the Republic TV team and “some associates of RSS and BJP entered the campus with malafide intention”. AMU Student’s Union President Salman Imtiaz said “the university staff asked the crew to stop the reporting but they “continued with the aggression. This led to the disruption in the campus”. He further claimed that the crew had entered without proper permission, and that this ruckus was a “pre-planned propaganda”.
A final year student Sharjeel Usmani filed complaints against the BJP leader and the TV crew accusing both of provoking clashes and disturbing peace on campus. “I have filed a complaint against the BJP leader and TV crew for creating tension on campus. The situation went out of hand after the TV crew came on campus. When asked whether they had the permission to shoot, the reporter told me – we don’t get intimidated by terrorists,” he said.
On Lodhi’s version that Hindu students were beaten by Muslim students, Usmani said “This is a cooked up story, AMU has never seen Hindu-Muslim clashes. This is all in preparation for the Lok Sabha”.AMU student cabinet member Nishanth Bharadwaj slamming the allegations of a Hindu-Muslim conflict said, “If there is a communal feeling in AMU then how a non-Muslim can be a part of the cabinet of the students union. The campus doesn’t have a divisive culture. It is being done ahead of the polls. We are being provoked on religious grounds.”
“The sedition charges have been imposed on a private citizen’s complaint. We have seen the content and framed accordingly, if the allegations are proved otherwise the charges will be dropped. The Aligarh police have not filed the sedition against them.” Aligarh SSP Akash Kulhary said.
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AMU Public Relations Officer Peerzada said, “There are some rules and regulations of a university. When a media house wants to cover something in our campus, they have to get permission and we usually send someone from the proctor office along with them for these very reasons. Where was their permission?”
Following the incident, the university administration filed two separate complaints with the police – one against the journalists for entering the campus without permission and the other against unidentified miscreants for indulging in arson and unlawful activities, the Indian Express reported.