After 1200 Kashmiri students, currently studying at Aligarh Muslim University, threatened to quit the veracity for being deliberately scandalized, the support in solidarity has come from other academic institutions. Jamia Milia Islamia students have expressed serious concern over the targeting of their counterparts in the AMU after an allegation that they arranged a funeral in absentia of slain militant leader Manan Wani, a former scholar of the university. They have condemned the initiation sedation charges against some of them.
They have issued the following statement:
“With deep concern, absolute dismay and unconditional solidarity with Kashmiri students studying at AMU, we the bonafide students of Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University), residents of Jammu and Kashmir, are aghast at the lodging of FIR’s and invoking draconian laws like “Sedition” on the “Kashmiri students at AMU” for assembling at Kennedy hall lawn AMU.
The gathering of Kashmiri students was in the backdrop of disturbing and tense media reports about Kashmir shown by media during the day, after the killing of Manan Wani, a former AMU scholar and snapping of mobile and internet connectivity in Kashmir, not for funeral prayer.
The students have been “allegedly accused” of holding funeral prayers, which is a falsely fabricated story by media and subsequently denied in a “joint letter” by 1200 students from J&K to media and concerned authorities and equally refuted by PRO, AMU. We have no reason to believe that the Kashmiri students gathering and sitting at Kennedy hall lawn was in any way unlawful.
But in a bid to vitiate the peace and order in the university campus, sitting Kashmiri students were attacked with Lathis by non-Kashmiri students of AMU, despite ‘Kashmiri students dispersing peacefully without offering any funeral prayer’. We unequivocally condemn this act of brazen provocation by non-Kashmiri students and reject the unsubstantiated farcical reports of funeral prayer.
The Indian state is using universities as a hotbed of vote-bank politics at the expense of cherished values of freedom and liberty. The disappointing complicity of media with the fascist Hindu majoritarian- supremacist narrative has already started through the vilification and smear campaign, that’s following since, against Kashmiri students. Generating a climate of fear against Kashmiri students by means of imposing and threatening with legal clauses, political intimidation, media trial, and establishment high-handedness, renders the safety and security of every Kashmiri student studying in AMU and different universities mephitic with chronic hostility towards us. The silencing of academic freedom for Kashmiri students within the varsity spaces across Indian universities, speaks of institutionalized discrimination and onslaught against Kashmiri community and belies the commitment of the academic institutions toward academic freedom.
We are surprised at the intolerable violation and adoption of the anti-Kashmir approach of AMU authorities in dealing with AMU students. It is chilling and reprehensible and exhibits disparagingly, the absorption of fascist and rowdy culture by AMU authorities. AMU and other universities must understand that the discussion at university campuses on the deteriorating political conditions in Kashmir is not repugnant to universal principles of freedom and those guaranteed by article 19A of Indian constitution. Indian universities must desist from turning varsity spaces into military garrisons and Guantanamo cells.
The subsequent hostile mapping and projection of AMU and Kashmiri Aligns by the barren media and the barrage of fabricated stories they ran and published, has put the security and very lives of every Kashmiri student studying in India at stake and yet continue to spew venom against Kashmiri students in their studios like a Trojan horse; guarding the frontiers of hate and malaise against Kashmiris and Muslim educational institutes like AMU in India.
We the Kashmiri students of Jamia Millia Islamia, demand an immediate revocation of FIR’s against Kashmiri AMU students, withdrawal of show-cause notices and an end to this political intimidation and politically motivated biased media reportage against Kashmiri students, otherwise with existential threat clouding over us in this perpetual climate of fear that challenges and hampers our academic pursuits and well-being,“we all will surrender our degrees En-masse and de-register from the enrolled courses in toto” and hit the road back to Kashmir and all the onus will lie on the concerned authorities.”