Artists express solidarity with Jamia varsity VC

September 25th, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) Leadings personalities from the world of arts and theatre Thursday congratulated Mushirul Hasan, the vice chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia University, for his strong stand in support of two of his students who were arrested for suspected involvement in the unravelling terror plot.A statement released by the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (Sahmat) said: “We fully endorse the decision by the vice chancellor, to provide the university students who have been swept up in the terrorism dragnet, with a competent legal defence.”

“This decision has to be recognised as a sign of abiding commitment to the basic rule of natural justice - that a person is innocent until proven guilty”.

Signed by veteran artists like Ram Rahman, theatre personality like M.K.Raina, Padma Bhushan awardee and historian Irfan Habib, the statement comes a day after Mushirul Hasan told media persons that the university would provide legal aid to the students - Mohammad Shakeel and Zia-ur-Rehman - who were arrested by police.

“We want to make it clear that like our predecessors have always done, we will provide legal aid to the two arrested students who are alleged to be terrorists. However, we will nor interfere with the judicial process,” Hasan said.

Rehman and Shakeel were arrested after the Friday’s shootout in Jamia Nagar during which the police said they gunned down two terrorists involved in the Sep 13 Delhi and July 26 Ahmedabad serial blasts.

Saying there was need to strengthen the secular character of the institution, the statement added: “We appeal all democratic and secular individuals and organisations to support all steps of the University administration and the faculty to maintain and strengthen the secular character of this premier institution”.

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