AMU teachers to defend Jamia students held for Delhi bombings

October 28th, 2008 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Oct 28 (IANS) Teachers of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have come out in defence of the two Jamia Millia Islamia students arrested in connection with the serial blasts in New Delhi.With nearly 1,400 teachers, the staff association of AMU has launched a campaign to “ensure a fair defence” for the two students accused in the Sep 13 bombings that killed 26 people.

“A judicial inquiry into the case is the only demand of our campaign,” AMU Staff Association secretary Abdus Salam told IANS by telephone from Aligrah.

A memorandum to initiate the judicial inquiry has already been submitted to the president, the prime minister and the Delhi chief minister, he added.

Earlier, the Delhi-based Jamia Millia Islamia university decided to provide legal help to its two students arrested for their alleged role in the bombings.

Mohammad Shakeel, a second-year MA student, and Zia-ur-Rehman, a third-year BA student, were arrested from New Delhi Sep 21 for their alleged involvement in serial blasts. Delhi Police have said they, along with 10 others arrested, were part of the Indian Mujahideen that has claimed responsibility for the serial bombings in the national capital as well as other cities in recent months.

About future strategy of their campaign, AMU Staff Association members said a delegation of the university teachers would shortly meet vice-president Hamid Ansari for his intervention into the matter.

“The vice-president, who happens to be a former vice-chancellor of the varsity, will definitely extend all possible help to the AMU teachers, who have undertaken the campaign,” said Salam.

The AMU Staff Association members have also planned to organise a series of protests if their demand for a judicial inquiry is not met.

“The nature of protests will soon be decided in a teachers’ meet that will also involve non-teaching staff,” said Salam.

AMU Staff Association members allege that people belonging to the minority Muslim community are being falsely implicated in terror cases.

“This is the foremost reason why teachers of AMU have come forward to help the two Muslim students,” Salam said.

“As legal assistance is the constitutional right, we welcome the decision of Jamia Millia Islamia vice-chancellor Mushirul Hasan, who came forward with the legal aid for the two of its students,” he added.

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