Aligarh: Violence erupted at the AMU campus around midnight last night following a clash between two regional student groups in which a former student was killed, prompting authorities to step up security and deploy Rapid Action Force.
Trouble started when a resident of Mumtaz hostel was assaulted and his room set afire, DIG Aligarh Range Govind Agarwal, who led the police operations, told PTI today.
The victim rushed to the proctor’s office to file his complaint. As soon as news of the incident spread students belonging to the two rival factions gathered and a clash broke out.
Police said that Mehtaab was shot dead late last night near the Proctor’s office where the warring groups exchanged fire with each other.
More than 1500 Kashmiri students who study at the varsity are safe. A Kashmiri student told Kashmir Reader over phone that they have a separate association, Jammu and Kashmir Aligarh Association, and don’t engage with any regional group.
The rampaging students set afire a jeep and over half-a-dozen bikes. The mob also indulged in arson and set afire the proctor’s office building.
The violence was so widespread that it took the police nearly two hours to defuse the situation at different spots of the campus.
An official of AMU said that trouble between rival groups belonging to Azamgarh and Sambhal regions has been simmering since quite some time now.
Rapid Action Force has been deployed at all sensitive spots especially in view of the entrance test for the engineering college is scheduled today and more than 13,000 candidates are expected to appear from the Aligarh campus centre alone.
AMU Vice Chancellor Lt Gen (Retd) Zameer Uddin Shah said yesterday’s incident of violence was a result of “faction-fight” between rival groups of students in which “most of those involved were former students including expelled ones”.
Shah said, preliminary reports indicate that all those involved in the violence were “occupying hostel rooms illegally”.
The VC said that in the next two-weeks “a major cleanup” operation is going to take place in different hostels of the University with the help of the Rapid Action Force and local police.
The drive would take place “without closing the University sine die,” he said.
Shah said that after June 6 when the University closes for the summer vacations, all University rooms will be totally vacated and students would be allowed re-entry into different hostels after the summer vacations only after fresh allotments.
Police said that an FIR has been registered against eight persons including Mohsin Iqbal, a student of MA Political Science and seven others, “most of whom were outsiders” and former students, in connection with the killing of Mehtaab.
The condition of Mohammad Waqif, a youth who was injured in the firing, is stated to be “critical” and he has been rushed to Delhi for emergency treatment.
According to AMU officials, Waqif is not a student but was seeking admission to the University and was staying near the campus for preparing for the entrance test.