Aligarh: The Aligarh Police arrested about half a dozen leaders and activists of the right-wing Hindu Yuva Vahini and Hindu Jagran Manch for raising provocative slogans in Muslim-dominated localities on the fifth day of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students’ agitation over police lathicharge on Wednesday.
To press their demand for the removal of the portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah from AMUSU Hall, activists of the Hindu Jagran Manch and Hindu Vyuva Vahini marched from SMB College to Collectorate. They were, however, stopped by the security force when they reached the vicinity of the collectorate.
Before the march, a group of Hindu Yuva Vahini, founded by the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, took out a motor bike rally into Muslim-dominated areas and raised provocative slogans. A complaint in this regard was lodged by the city Mufti Khalid Hamid forcing the police to swing into action.
The police arrested about half a dozen activists of the right-wing Hindu outfits for fomenting communal trouble. The arrested persons included Hindu Yuva Vahini President Sonu Savita, ex-city President Yogendra Varshney, and district vice-president Vimal Kumar Bantu and others.
The arrests sparked tension and a large number of activists gheraoed the Gandhi Park Police Station. Rapid Action Force was called in to disperse the agitated activists. The Aligarh BJP MP Satish Gautam later met senior police officials demanding immediate release of the activists.
The District Magistrate C.B. Singh has ordered for the deployment of more RAF and police in sensitive localities in Aligarh to avert any communal clash following row over portrait of Jinnah at AMUSU. The district and police administration fear that the clashes which were restricted to AMU gate may spread to other areas as attempts were being made to provoke members of both the communities.
“We have directed the force to deal firmly with anyone creating trouble or taking law into their hands. The security forces are keeping a round the clock vigil on troublemakers,” said the DM.
Earlier, activists of Hindu Yuva Vahini and Hindu Jagran Manch burnt an effigy of Jinnah at the D.S. College. Later, they put up Jinnah’s posters in public toilets at few places on Saturday evening. The police removed these posters immediately before it could vitiate peace and communal harmony.
A senior police official claimed that those who were arrested on Sunday were behind pasting these posters in the toilets at different places.
“Our protest will continue till university administration removes Jinnah’s portrait from the AMUSU Hall on its own or we pull it off by force. We will not allow traitor like Jinnah to be glorified in the university,” warned Amit Goswami.