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Students block entry to women’s college as impasse continues at AMU

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Aligarh (UP): Protests at AMU’s women’s college intensified Thursday with hundreds of students blocking its entry points as the exam boycott at the university’s engineering college continued for the fourth successive day.

The protesters, including schoolgirls, have locked the gates from inside and have formed a human chain to prevent teaching staff from entering the college campus at Marris Road.

A university official said police had been posted at the college gates as a precautionary measure.

He added, “While a section of the girls are ready to end the deadlock and resume attending classes, some others are still refusing.”

Meanwhile, the boycott of examinations at the varsity’s Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology continued for the fourth successive day Thursday even as protesting students were assured that the demands raised by them will be considered favourably.

AMU spokesman Omar Peerzada, however, said some classes were held for the first time to end the impasse after Professor Sufiyan Beg, principal of the engineering college, assured the students that their demands raised during Wednesday’s meeting between AMU Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor and the protesting students would be considered favourably.

“Talks are underway with the protesters to resolve the situation,” the university spokesman said.

Beg expressed optimism that the problems would be resolved “after discussing the matter with senior university officials on Thursday.”

The main demands of the protesting students pertain to an assurance from the vice chancellor that all “false cases” registered against protesting students during the past six weeks would be withdrawn, Beg said.

The other demand is regarding a similar assurance from the vice chancellor that there will be “no further police action or harassment against those who carry out peaceful protests,” Beg said.

Earlier Wednesday night, the deadlock at AMU appeared to have worsened when the talks between the vice chancellor and the protesting students held at the college ended in bedlam with students raising slogans against the vice chancellor.

No examinations could be held for the fourth successive day Thursday despite the Vice Chancellor’s appeal Wednesday to end the boycott even while continuing with their peaceful anti-CAA protests.

In a related development, AMU Students Coordination Committee Thursday announced that even if the university authorities declare the closure of the varsity, they will not vacate the campus till their demands are not addressed.

Attempting to break the continuing deadlock, the AMU Alumni Association in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has in a letter to the vice chancellor expressed serious concern over the possibility of a sine die closure of the varsity.

Pointing out that such a closure would have serious ramifications for the overall interest of the institution, the alumni body offered their good offices to serve as interlocutors between the protesting students and the vice chancellor.

PTI

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