Two representatives of Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV were stopped from filming on the campus after they allegedly termed the prestigious AMU a ‘university of terrorists’ on Tuesday. This led to a minor scuffle, prompting the local police to intervene. The Republic team was later thrown out of the campus by angry students.
It’s not clear why Republic TV had deployed two of its representatives to travel to the prestigious AMU campus, but, according to local students, they took objection to one of the women describing the university as the hub of terrorism during their live broadcast.
Sharjeel Usmani, a local student leader, told Janta Ka Reporter, “Arnab’s Republic TV in AMU was reporting live that ‘we’re standing in the university of terrorists’. Students tried to intervene and the reporters started abusing the students. One of the cameramen manhandled with the students, calling us all terrorist. I tried intervening and he attacked me with his pen. Students have shown them their way out of the varsity campus. ‘We are not going to be intimidated by terrorist’, is what their reporter said.”
Superintendent of Police of Aligarh, Ashutosh Dwivedi, told Janta Ka Reporter that there was indeed a scuffle involving the representatives of Republic TV and local students resulting in the damage of their camera. He said, “AMU was organising an event inside the campus and Republic TV was keen to broadcast that even live. But the university administration and students did not give them permission to do so. But, the Republic TV crew insisted and decided to broadcast the event live. This led to a minor scuffle between them.”
Dwivedi said that neither side had lodged any official complaint in the matter adding that it was not permissible to broadcast from the university campus without obtaining the required permission. He said that the police will intervene in the matter if the university administration made a formal request to do so.
The video broadcast by Republic TV showed a man in uniform telling the channel’s representatives that they had no permission to shoot inside the campus.
Two female representatives of Republic TV present on the scene have been identified as Sumaira Khan and Nalini Sharma. Sharma denied the charges of provocation and wrote on Twitter, “There was NO provocation from our side to invite this attack. I didn’t even speak to anybody inside the AMU campus until we were surrounded by this crowd of hooligans who continued saying how they’re not going to let us report because we were from Republic.”
This is not the first time that the AMU has been targeted by the country’s right-wing brigade. Ahead of the Kairana by-polls, the university had gained considerable media limelight over a portrait of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. However, the issue died its natural death after the issue did not help the BJP’s cause and the saffron party lost its parliamentary seat in Kairana.