In a recent development, four students from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have been booked for their participation in a protest march held on the university campus to express solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, West Asia. The Aligarh police took action against the students following a report from the police outpost in-charge, and an investigation is currently underway.
The protest, which took place on Sunday night, saw approximately 100 students gather at Duck Point within the AMU campus. They marched towards the Bab-e-Syed gate of AMU, chanting slogans in support of Palestinians and condemning Israel for its actions in the region.
Professor Mohd Wasim Ali, the proctor of Aligarh Muslim University, acknowledged the protest but stressed that it had taken place without the necessary permission required for such activities on the university campus.
Professor Ali stated, “No prior permission was sought or granted to the students. We became aware of a gathering of 100 students at Duck Point. A team from the Proctorial department was dispatched to control the students, but by then, they had already moved on.” He further added, “We are still assessing how many of them were AMU students and how many were outsiders who joined them. The university administration is addressing this issue, and related aspects are under discussion.”
The Aligarh police initiated action after receiving the report and assigned a circle officer to investigate the matter. Subsequently, a case was registered against the four AMU students.
Mrigank Shekhar Pathak, the Superintendent of Police for Aligarh city, explained, “These students did not have permission to organize such a protest march, which focused on an international issue and involved the use of provocative and objectionable slogans.” He further added, “As a result, an investigation was initiated by a police officer at the circle officer level, and a case was registered based on the report submitted by the police outpost in-charge and sub-inspector Azhar Hasan at Civil Lines police station in Aligarh.”
The case has been filed under sections 153A (promoting enmity among different groups), 188 (disobedience to orders promulgated by a public servant), and Section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
Satish Gautam, a two-time Member of Parliament for BJP in Aligarh, criticized the protest march, accusing AMU students of disregarding the law and public order. He expressed support for Israel’s actions, emphasizing its right to defend its sovereignty.
The incident highlights the complexities surrounding protests on university campuses and the legal repercussions that may follow when permissions are not sought or granted for such demonstrations.