JAMMU: Situation is tense in the campus of Jammu’s Maulana Azad Memorial (MAM) College Jammu after Police picked up seven Muslim students late last night from hostels of the college.
The seven boys who have been picked up and lodged in Gandhinagar Police Station include Mohammed Israr, Rabnawaz, Fazal, Murtaza, Zulfiqar, Sheraz and Mumtaz. All these seven belong to the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.
They have been arrested after police lodged an FIR against them under sections 451, 323 and 147 RPC. Sources said that the FIR was lodged at the behest of some BJP Ministers, who had come in support of ABVP, the party’s student wing.
The Ministers are keenly following the developments, said the sources since the ABVP had spread a word that Muslim students had beaten up Hindu Boys in the hostels of MAM College leading to death of one of the injured boys. This news spread like wild fire with ABVP mobilizing their university and college units of Jammu city and entering the campus at around 9 PM late on the Thursday night. They raised slogans and demanded lodging of an FIR against the Muslim students.
“The sloganeering led to Muslims student residing in the campus making calls to their relatives and friends, narrating the sense of insecurity that had gripped them. The protest ended after police assured the ABVP leaders that an FIR has been lodged and action would be taken within shortest possible time. They left and later in the night, Police swooped on the campus and picked up seven students at around 2.30 AM in the dead of night,” reports said.
They said the Muslim students residing in the hostels of the MAM College have packed their bags and have threatened to return to their native places if the administration and the police failed to restore sense of security in the campus. They allege that ABVP and saffron organizations have let loose “reign of terror” in the campus with both Warden and Principal acting as mute spectators.
“Their allegation is that a minor scuffle between them and a group of Hindu students is being exploited by ABVP and its affiliate student organizations to create a sense of fear among Muslim students residing in the hostels of MAM College,” reports added.
According to them, a minor issue over wording a song resulted in minor exchange of words between two groups of students on February 21 when they were returning from Sanasar in Samba district where they had gone on a picnic.
Sources said that the issue took an ugly turn when some Hindu students led by Mithun Manhas and Jugal Kishore beat up the Muslim boys who had objected to the wording of the song in the college campus, a day later. They added that this led to Muslim students who are in majority in the hostels of the campus lodging strong protest with both Principal Dr Ramesh Chander and Warden. The two intervened and got the issue between the two factions resolved.
The two sides shook hands and left. “However, later in the evening, there was again an altercation between the two groups of students. The Hindu boys who outnumbered the Muslims boys roughed them up. This led to Muslims students retaliating, resulting in injuries to one Govardhan Singh Jamwal while his fellow hotelier ran away,” said one Saqib, who is a student of the MAM College. He added that Jamwal who had minor injury on the left side of his face was hospitalized.
“In the meantime, friends of Govardhan shared messages on whats app and Facebook about his death, which turned out to be a blatant lie. The news was spread all over to create an atmosphere where the locals would join the students in attacking the Muslim students living in the hostel. Govardhan was alright but ABVP ensured that he gets a false case registered against us,” added another Muslim student. This is all being done by ABVP to create fear among Muslim students, alleged the students.
The Muslim students are demanding that the FIR be withdrawn and the students who have been picked up in a one sided action be freed. “We won’t go back to the Hostels if our friends are not set free. Police should not take sides which it is doing right now,” said another Muslim student.