Aligarh. The students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have been on an indefinite strike since September 19 against the varsity administration demanding the announcement of students’ union election dates. The students decided to protest as Vice-Chancellor Tariq Mansoor refused to declare the dates within the 24-hour ultimatum given by the students on Monday. The students have also threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike if the dates are not out by Friday evening.
According to the AMU students’ union constitution, the students’ union election has to be held not later than 75 days after the commencement of the academic session and this has to be decided by the Union Executive. However, students’ union elections in AMU aren’t conducted as per its constitution.
“The administration is not only ignoring the students’ union constitution, but also violating the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines,” said Faisal Nadeem, an AMU student. “Every university including Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and Hyderabad University are done with their students’ union elections. Why can’t AMU do it? They can’t stifle the democratic rights of students,” he added.
The students reiterated that they will continue their agitation until the administration announces the dates for the election which should be held before October 17. This is not the first time that the AMU administration has become hesitant to hold union polls. It was only after students protested for weeks that the administration announced election dates last year.
Following the strike, a notice was put out by the Public Relations Office (PRO) where the VC said the students will have to wait till PhD admission process gets over, after which the electoral list will be prepared. This, he said, will protect the democratic rights of all the students to vote and contest the elections. The notice was issued after the VC called a meeting with the deans and chairs of various departments.
However, students seem keen not to comply with this request. “We want the administration to announce the election dates as early as possible. The AMUSU election was held in October last year, but this time the administration is not keen on conducting elections at all,” said Maskoor A Usmani, a final-year medical student.