On May 26, 2017, the Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union organised a protest march at the varsity campus, condemning the recent, alleged gang rape that happened in the Jewar-Bulandshahr highway of Uttar Pradesh on May 24, 2017. The students demanded the immediate arrest of the alleged culprits and called for severe action against them.
The march started on Friday. The congregation proceeded from the University’s Jama Masjid and was called off at the University Circle. More than 200 students joined the protest. “Wo RSS ho murdabad (Down with RSS)”, “Bharat sarkar sharam karo, sharam nahi to doob maro (Indian government – feel shameful, or else, die in shame)” were some of the slogans that were shouted by the students, outrageously.
On reaching the University Circle, the president of the AMU Students’ Union, Faizul Hasan, addressed the students, where he staunchly criticised the incumbent dispensation both at the Centre and the state. He said that the goons and hooligans have allegedly got the upper-hand, due to the government, and that a series of such crimes are happening across the country.
“On May 24, 2017, four women were brutally raped and a man rescuing them was shot dead by the hooligans. Such criminal activities are terrifying, and are increasing day-by-day. The government is making appealing slogans like women safety, good governance, ‘sabka saath sabka vikas (everyone’s growth with everyone’s help)’ and what-not. But, when it comes to pragmatic situations, there is complete fiasco,” said Faizul Hasan.
Furthermore, he also criticised the violence in Saharanpur, and said that the atrocities on Dalit and marginalised people have been done in an ‘orchestrated clash’. The rise of the Bhim Army and their ongoing agitation is a testimony to the fact that the persecutions on Dalits and other minorities are rising each day. He also praised the ongoing agitation by the Bhim Army at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. He said that the AMU Students’ Union stands in solidarity with the Dalit-protest. He added that if such persecutions by right-wing fringe elements did not stop, then he too will lead a similar kind of protest.
Another leader, Abul Farah Shazli, said that the unofficial Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Republic) has already been made. He said that not only are the Muslims going to suffer, the Dalits and tribal groups will also face social repression, under the garb of Manusmriti. Ahmad Mujtaba Faraz, a final-year law student, also announced that he would be going to Saharanpur on June 9, 2017, with a team of lawyers and academicians to look into the reported violence against Dalits, pro bono.
While ending the protest, the students also presented a memorandum to the additional district magistrate (ADM) of the city, the proctor of AMU and to the various media persons who were present there. The memorandum will also be sent to the President of India, demanding punishment for those involved in the incident. Some students present at the march were Mughal Wasif, Shamim Bari, Asad Usmani, Ahsan Khan, Adnan Amir, Sharjeel Usmani, Naved Ashrafi, Mohammad Tabish, Abdul Qadir, among many others.