Dear Parent, here’s chain of events that led to closure of AMU sine die: VC

The Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Prof. (Dr.) P.K. Abdul Azis, in a letter addressed to students’ parents, has detailed the chain of events which led to the closure of the University sine die. He has also solicited the co-operation of the students as well as their parents in restoring the academic environment on the campus.

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The Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Prof. (Dr.) P.K. Abdul Azis, in a letter addressed to students’ parents, has detailed the chain of events which led to the closure of the University sine die. He has also solicited the co-operation of the students as well as their parents in restoring the academic environment on the campus.

The text of the letter runs inter alia:
“In the night of 16th September, 2007 a student was attacked by a sharp edged weapon, while he was passing through a deserted area near the hockey ground. He was brought to Medical College and I immediately rushed there with some members of the University Administration. Despite the best efforts, he could not be saved. Large crowd of students who had gathered there were upset and hurt. We tried our best to pacify them, but some unruly elements in the crowd hijacked the entire situation and led the mob to the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge. They set the Vice-Chancellor’s Lodge on fire, openly indulged in looting of the valuable items and whole household was reduced to ashes. They also set on fire the Staff Club, burnt all furniture and fixtures causing extensive damage and later the NRSC Office and part of the Proctor’s Office was also vandalized.
“Earlier to that, we had witnessed yet another incident of unruly behaviour of residents of the girls’ hostel. On 11th September, 2007 residents of Abdullah Hall alleged indiscretion by some male staff of the Hall. I soon reached the Hall with my senior functionaries and tried to find out the name of the alleged victim but despite our best efforts and even with an assurance that the identity would not be revealed, nobody came out with any name. I spent nearly three hours to probe the incident and listened to their problems and necessary actions were taken immediately to address their concerns. Having settled this matter and girls being satisfied with the actions taken in this regard, I left the premises of the Hall late in the night.
“I called the meeting of the local Executive Council Members of the University on 12.9.2007, to discuss this incident and to decide on further action. We constituted an Enquiry Committee to investigate the issue from all angles. The committee is chaired by one of the senior most members of the EC and it was directed to submit its time-bound report. While this meeting was in progress, I was informed that the girls of Abdullah Hall, IG Hall and Schools have broken the gate of the Hall and some of them even climbed the high boundary wall with barbed wire fencing and marched towards Administrative Block where Vice-Chancellor’s Office is located. The crowd of girls, also joined by some boys and their students’ leaders, shouted slogans incessantly and tried to force open the huge gate of the Administrative Block. I immediately sent the Executive Council Members and other senior Professors of the University including their own teachers, to talk to girls and to know their recent grievances since all their issues were settled on 11th night itself. They were, however, not prepared to listen to anyone, kept on shouting slogans and repeatedly tried to force open the entry through the sturdy Iron Gate. Finally, they all managed to barge into the premises of Administrative Block, rushed towards Vice-Chancellor’s Office, broke the cemented Jali, smashed VC’s car and flower pots all around and kept on renting slogans. I addressed them from the balcony, narrated the actions taken and appealed to them to remain calm and disperse peacefully but it was in vain. They broke most of the window panes of Administrative Block and even managed to gate crash into VC’s Secretariat, pulled off the wall fans and smashed the glass panes of VC’s chamber by pelting bricks and stones. This degree of vandalism was unprecedented and the University Administration exercised a lot of restraint despite having exceeded all limits of indiscipline and indecency. I, as Vice-Chancellor, in all earnestness, did whatever best I could, to redress their grievance but their highly despicable behaviour, quite unbecoming of Girls of the Muslim University, was absolutely shocking, to say the least.
“While the tragic loss of life of one of our innocent students is deeply mourned by all of us, the extreme vandalism indulged in during the past few days indicates some nefarious deeper designs of unlawful elements. They want to destabilize the University Administration and defame this great institution to serve their vested interests. I firmly believe that an overwhelming majority of our students are committed to building their careers and wish to make their stay in AMU gainful. However, a section amongst them is hand in glove with unlawful elements. They fall prey to their devilish designs and indulge in behaviour that tarnishes the image of the University and created panic and fear among the innocent students. The silent majority remains indifferent towards their acts of omissions. Or else how could these elements ransack University’s property with such impunity.
“Against the above backdrop, the University Administration has been forced, though painfully, to resort to this extreme step of closing the University sine die to ensure the cleansing of such nefarious elements from the University and its Halls of residences to assure your ward a safe place where he/she can study in a peaceful academic environment. May I exhort you also to advise your ward to assist the University Administration in weeding out the culprits from among them. I also urge you to counsel them to desist from any unruly act which, I reiterate, will invite severe punishment as per rules. Your words of advice and caution will help them carve out a bright career for them.
“By the way, in the meeting of the Executive Council on September 21, 2007, the Chairman of the aforesaid Enquiry Committee has stated in his Interim Report that there is no incident of rape of any girl as has been alleged.
“I assure you that we shall take all necessary steps to minimize the academic loss to the students and we shall reopen the University as soon as we have been able to weed out these antisocial elements. Your co-operation is earnestly solicited.”
AMU institutes Sir Syed Int’l Award
Aligarh Muslim University has instituted Sir Syed International Award for communal harmony and decided to move the University Grants Commission (UGC) for the creation of Sir Syed Chair in the University. Vice-Chancellor Prof. P.K. Abdul Azis made an announcement to this effect while addressing a grand function organised in the University premises on October 17 to mark the 190th birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the Founder of this citadel of modern higher learning.
The Sir Syed International Award, carrying a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh, will be selected by a national jury yet to be constituted.
The proposed Sir Syed Chair aims at providing facilities for students and research scholars to study Sir Syed’s mission and vision in its real perspective.
The Vice-Chancellor emphasised the growing relevance of Sir Syed’s thoughts for the larger society and outlined the University’s contribution to the ideals of quality education and peaceful co-existence which Sir Syed professed and practised all through his life.
“The yeomen services rendered by Sir Syed in the reconstruction of modern India are unforgettable,” he said, adding that “Aligarh Muslim University is our national and cultural heritage.”
The Vice-Chancellor also announced the decision to provide the students with 24-hour high speed Internet facility to promote information technology and e-learning as well as better hostel and games and sports facilities.
Referring to the chain of events which led to the recent closure of the University sine die, Dean Management Faculty Prof. Javed Akhtar made a fervent appeal to the University authorities and students to celebrate the Sir Syed Day as the Day of Accountability. He also suggested introduction of a Sir Syed Course as a mandatory subject.
The first biography of Sir Syed in Bangla, authored by the chairman of the Department of Modern Indian Languages, T. B. Chakraborty, was released. An exhibition on Sir Syed’s writings and books was also inaugurated at the Sir Syed Academy.
Later Prof. Azis distributed prizes to the winners of the first ever all-India essay writing competition on Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, His Life and Contribution. Atendrajeet Kaur, a student of M.A. in Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar received the first cash prize of Rs. 25,000 while Shweta Rao of M.A. (Final) Mangalore University and Saba Iqbal of Aligarh Muslim University bagged the second cash prize of Rs. 15,000 and third cash prize of Rs. 10,000 respectively. Besides, other participants in the essay writing competition were given consolatory prizes of Rs. 5,000 each.