Jinnah portrait a non-issue, says AMU VC

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Wednesday described as “a non-issue” the Jinnah portrait in the AMU, saying it also existed in the Bombay High Court and Sabarmati Ashram.

“No one was worried about the portrait until now. I think it is a non-issue. The student agitation had no relation to the Jinnah portrait row, they were protesting against the people who came to the AMU to disturb peace on May 2,” he told the media.

Mansoor spoke after meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over engaging youths in paramilitary forces.

“I met Rajnath Singh over recruitment of students in central forces like the CRPF and CISF. It was a pre-scheduled meeting. It had no relation to the Jinnah portrait row,” he said.

Mansoor said the Minister assured him he would send officers from paramilitary forces to interact with the AMU students and motivate them to join central forces.

In his over half hour meeting, informed sources said, Mansoor also briefed Rajnath Singh about the current situation in the AMU.

On the demand to remove a portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah from an AMU hall, Mansoor said the portrait had been in the university since 1938 and it was put up at many places including the Bombay High Court and Sabarmati Ashram.

“We have already demanded a judicial inquiry into the issue.”

On Tuesday, the VC urged the students protesting over the Jinnah portrait row to not let their studies suffer due to the unrest in the varsity.

Through a letter, he appealed to the students “not to fall into the trap of certain forces which are bent upon destroying the image of our alma mater and are playing with your bright future.

“Under no circumstances should you let your studies suffer, especially when your exams are just round the corner.”