Outrage as Rampur Court Upholds Order to Demolish Mohammad Ali Jauhar University’s Gate

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#SaveJauharUniversity campaign is launched on social media

Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — A fresh anger against the BJP and UP government has erupted among Muslim students, political activists and members of civil society who have launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #SaveJauharUniversity after a District Court in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, dismissed an appeal by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan against demolition of the main gate of Mohammad Ali Jauhar University which the authorities allege has been built after encroaching upon land belonging to the Public Works Department (PWD).

S T Hassan, the Samajwadi Party leader representing Moradabad in the Lok Sabha, told Clarion India that attempts by the UP government to “harm” Jauhar University is part of the conspiracy of “fascist forces” to keep Muslim minorties away from education. “There is nothing illegal about the gate but the officials are under pressure to follow the orders from the top and an environment has been created to demonise Jauhar University,” Hassan said, adding they will continue the legal battle for justice.

President, All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, Navaid Hamid, called the move as “an organised attack on the struggle of Indian Muslims for educational empowerment”.

The Rampur district court while trashing the appeals by Azam Khan and the university administration upheld the lower court’s order for removal of the gate.

The lower court had also imposed a fine of Rs 3.27 crore for damages from June, 2016 to May, 2019 on the university whose chancellor is Amaz Khan. In addition, the lower court had asked the university to pay Rs 9.10 lakh per month to the opposite party until possession is ended

However, on Monday, August 2, the district court modified the damages amount asking the appellants to pay Rs 1.638 crore in damages to the opposite side as also Rs 4.55 lakh a month till the removal of the possession, the Indian Express cited government counsel, Rampur (civil), Rajeev Agarwal, as saying.

The PWD Rampur had approached the sub-divisional magistrate seeking permission to demolish the grand gate of the varsity which issued an order asking the opposite party for  removal of the possession of the disputed land within two weeks.

The PWD has alleged that the opposite party illegally constructed the main gate of Jauhar University in 2016 on the then newly constructed two kilometer long four-lane road causing obstruction to public and vehicular movement.

Muslim students and activists see the UP government’s move against the university as part of the alleged campaign of the BJP against Muslim institutions and an attack on the rights of Muslim to get education and contribute to society.

Ashraf Hussain, a social media activists, said that the Hindu right-wing does not want to see Muslims educated and seek their rights that is why they are targeting institutions like AMU, Jamia Millia and Jauhar University.

Sharjeel Usmani, the young student activists from Aligarh Muslim University, said in a Tweet that plans of demolition of Jauhar University gate shows “They are afraid of educated Muslims.”

Another student activist Fahad Ahmad from Mumbai said that the government was trying to defame  the name of Muslim educational institutions and thereby “tarnish the Muslim image”.

“We need to fight against their plans,” he said in another tweet with the hashtag #SaveJauharUniversity.

Mashkoor Usmani, former Aligarh Muslim University Student leader and now part of Congress in Bihar, said the UP government was “fueling the fire of political hatred”.

Chand Babu, Congress social media coordinator in Bihar, also joined the campaign saying Jauhar University of Rampur is in danger.

Rashtriya Ulama Council questioned the silence of Samajwadi Party on the government’s plans to demolish the Jauhar University gate.

Azam Khan, the SP stalwart and Lok Sabha member from Rampur, is in jail since February last year. Currently, he is undergoing treatment in hospital after complaints of breathlessness.

Since the BJP government of Yogi Adityanath assumed power in Uttar Pradesh, the police have lodged 81 cases against Khan and his family including allegations of land grabbing.

Sidra Adeeb, the daughter in law of Khan termed the decision of UP government against the institute “totally inappropriate”. she, however, said they will move to the High Court.  “We trust Indian court to give us justice”.

 

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