Ghazala Ahmad | Clarion India
ALIGARH ‑ Several Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students were booked on Saturday for organising a discussion on the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.
The discussion was organised to mark the 30th anniversary of the shameful demolition of the mosque on December 6 in 1992.
An FIR has been lodged against the Muslim students under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 505 (statements conducing to public mischief), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 295-A (acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 298 (uttering words with an intent to hurt the religious feelings of a person), a copy of the FIR accessed by Clarion India said.
It is also claimed that students carried posters inside the university campus calling the demolition ‘black day’ and raised slogans hurting the religious sentiments of a certain group.
However, the booked students refuted the claims and termed the FIR against them as a targeted attack on them by right-wing organizations.
“The allegations are false and baseless, we did not do anything unconstitutional nor did we hurt anyone’s religious sentiments,” a booked student told Clarion India over the phone.
“The demolition of Babri Masjid was an unconstitutional act; it was a sheer mockery of the constitution. We only gathered to remember and mark the day. It was only a discussion,” he said.
“I fail to understand how an act to gather and discuss can hurt the sentiments of any religion or community,” he added.
Babri Masjid in Ayodha was demolished by Hindu extremists claiming the site to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.
The demolition of the mosque sparked communal tensions and riots across the nation wherein hundreds of people, mostly Muslims, were killed or maimed. Thousands of families were forced to flee their homes.
Since then, every year 6th of December is observed as a ‘black day’ as the demolition of the mosque was in “violation of fundamental and religious rights” of the Muslim community.
Ironically, the FIR against students was lodged after the Hindutva right-wing outfits held a mahapanchayat on December 7. The Hindutva outfits have also issued an ultimatum to the city police to arrest the students forthwith.
Amit Goswami, leader of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), told Clarion India, “We are planning to launch a mass protest if Aligarh Police fails to arrest these students.”
He said: “If no arrests were made, a huge protest will be organized collectively by the Hindu outfits observing the day as “Shaurya Diwas”. He said the demolition of Babri Masjid was an act of ‘shaurya’ meaning an act of ‘valour, heroism, and courage”.
Referring to the December 6 group meeting at Aligarh Muslim University, he said: “Slogans were raised against Hindus the Supreme Court verdict” that paved the way for the construction of Ram Temple where Babri Masjid once stood.
Moreover, a proctorial team of the university was present at the spot as the group met.
Procter Professor Mohd Wasim Ali told Clarion India: “The team was present there. No anti-constitutional activity was done and no objectionable slogans were raised at the event. Students only gathered and a discussion was held peacefully”.
“The matter is under investigation by the district administration, as an FIR is lodged against the students. If anyone is found guilty of the alleged offence, the due procedure will be followed by the university authorities,” he added.