‘We welcome President Kovind but communal elements must not accompany him’

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The Aligarh Muslim University Students Union has warned members of Sangh Parivar to stay away from the campus when President Ramnath Kovind arrives here on 7 March. Kovind is scheduled to visit the AMU campus as the chief guest for the annual convocation ceremony.

 

Kovind

Speaking to Janta Ka Reporter, the AMU Students’ Union President, Mashkoor Ahmed Usmani said, “The President of India is a constitutional post and we respect this office. Since he’s a visitor to our university on 7 March, we will do everything in our capacity to welcome his arrival with full honour. We will follow the protocol in accordance with the constitution.

“However, no members of BJP or the RSS or, for that matter, any political outfit, will be allowed to enter the campus on that day. This is our warning to anyone with communal background that they must stay away from the campus on the day President Kovind arrives here as our guest. As Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said, ‘When the AMU speaks, Muslims of India listen.’ We have to preserve the non-communal identity of our campus. If anyone thinks they can enter on the pretext of being a part of the President’s convoy, this is our warning to them.”

Kovind, a former BJP functionary, was appointed the President of India in July last year. However, one of the reasons why the members of the AMU Students’ Union are anxious is his communally charged statements made in the past. In 2010, Kovind was reported to have said that Muslims and Christians were alien to India adding that this fact continued to ‘bother us till date but we welcome him.”

Ghazala Ahmad, a former cabinet member of the AMU Students’ Union, told Janta Ka Reporter that the 35,000 students studying in the university will boycott the Sanghi elements if anyone with Sangh background tries to enter the campus.

She said, “We haven’t forgotten what happened on Sir Syed Day event last year. We don’t want a repeat of that. Whilst we have utmost respect for the office of the President since it’s a constitutional post, we are determined not to allow any member of Sangh to enter our campus. I too will be receiving my degree in this year’s convocation. But if the communal elements make any effort to accompany the President and arrive here for the convocation, we will boycott them.

“This is the very prestigious moment for us and we do not want get it ruined by any kind of politicisation by allowing any of the communal Sanghi elements.”

Both current and former students of the university had launched an intense campaign asking for explanation from the new Vice Chancellor, Tariq Mansoor last year after the university administration invited Sandeep Singh, the grandson of former UP chief minister, Karyan Singh, for the Sir Syed Day event. Babri Masjid was demolished in Ayodhya by BJP workers during Kalyan Singh’s term as the state’s chief minister.

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