Mannan Wani, the dreaded Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was gunned down by security forces in Handwara, Jammu and Kashmir on October 11. After the news of his death was spread, students of Aligarh Muslim University had gathered and demanded to hold funeral prayers for the slain terrorist.
The University authorities and several student leaders had opposed to the prayer event, called Namaaz-e-Janaaza and as a result, the student supporters of the terrorist had clashed with the university authorities and security guards. Many students were suspended from the University for their behaviour.
A day after the incident, a video was circulated in media where many Kashmiri students were reportedly protesting outside the Kennedy hall against Mannan Wani’s killing. After reports that slogans of ‘Azadi’ were raised, UP police had registered FIRs against two of the students and they were subsequently suspended from the University. However, according to recent reports, On 16 October the AMU fact-finding committee had stated that they did not find any evidence of the involvement of the said students in raising slogans of Azadi and had thus, revoked their suspension.
Two Kashmiri students namely Waseem Ayoub Malik and(Ph.D. Biochemistry) and Abdul Haseeb Mir (Ph.D. History) were reportedly reinstated into the University after the fact-finding committee failed to find any evidence against them.
UP police, however, are yet to withdraw the FIRs filed against the two students for the alleged slogans. Police had registered FIR under section 124A (sedition), 147 (rioting) and other relevant sections of the IPC. According to reports, UP police have sought an explanation from the University authorities on why the suspension orders were revoked.
The investigating officer of the civil lines police station SHO Vinod Kumar reportedly stated that they want to inspect the report of the University inquiry committee that led to the cancellation of the suspension. He also added that the police had asked for the CCTV footage of the place where the students had assembled.
SSP Aligarh Ajay Kumar Sahni has reportedly stated that the university is yet to provide their probe report to the SIT. However, registrar of the University Abdul Hamid has reportedly stated to Times of India that the CCTV footage of the lawn where the gathering was held is not available as the cameras installed were all facing towards the entrance to the Kennedy hall near the lawn. He has stated that the University is fully cooperating with the UP police for the investigations.
In the meanwhile, the Kashmiri students of the University have been reportedly constantly approaching the University authorities to quash the FIRs. Student groups had also threatened to leave the university en masse following which the University proceeded to revoke the suspension orders.
It is notable here that the slain terrorist Mannan Wani was also a student of the AMU. He was expelled from the University in January this year after reports of him joining the Hizbul Mujahideen surfaced in media. Mannan was a Ph.D. scholar. He hails from Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir and is the son of a lecturer. Wani’s brother is reportedly a junior engineer in Government of Jammu and Kashmir.