4 AMU Students Threatened With Death For Being Tagged On A FB Post Mocking Islam
Yet again, Aligarh Muslim University has become the centre of a controversy after a student and a few ex-students have been booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police for posting a post on social media which was supposedly ‘blasphemous’.
AMU’s Nashra Ahmad, a BA (psychology) student, along with former students Fahad Zuberi, Omar Gazi, Sushant Tank, and Bhole Vishwakarma, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University, went for an outing on June 6 after which Bhole posted a picture on Facebook which indicated the fact that liquor was served at the location. The post also had a distorted version of a religious slogan which seemed to have angered people.
Following the furore, Nadeem Ansari, former vice-president of the Aligarh Muslim University Students Union (AMUSU) filed an FIR against them for maliciously hurting religious sentiments and causing harm to the religion through hate speech under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, and also under the IT Act, as reported by Times of India.
Moreover, Ansari has also met with senior police officials and demanded that a show-cause notice is issued to Nashra while the others were to be banned from entering the campus.
Subjected To Humiliation
As if this was not enough punishment already, the youths were humiliated on various social media platforms where they even received death threats, so much so that one of the victims was forced to flee Aligarh, reported India Today.
A series of threats, abuse and intimidation followed soon after, which led Nashra to deactivate her social media profiles and she has since then released a video through her friends where she is seen apologising and condemning her own behaviour as well as the Facebook post.
The proctor of the varsity, Moshin Khan said that a notice has been issued to the second-year BA student, Nashra, and she has been given 48 hours to explain her conduct. Disciplinary actions will be taken against her after she furnishes an explanation, added Khan.
Meanwhile, the university is yet to comment on the issue as AMU spokesperson Shafey Kidwai has been quoted by Firstpost as saying that he was unaware of the incident and that he only came to know of it through the proctor.
The Logical Indian Take
Our constitution allows each one of us to practice religion in our own space as long as it is not imposed on one another. However, in this case, one’s freedom of speech and expression have also been quashed to the point that the youths have to go into hiding. Bullying and death threats over social media and yet the police and the university are viewing the youths as some serious criminals instead of focusing on their harassers. Isn’t India supposed to be better than this?
A university should encourage students to push the boundaries. AMU’s decision to bar the students reflects that AMU still has to go a long way when it comes to discussing or debating on religion with a free mind. AMU Students’ Union president Usmani’s demand for “strict action,” the proctor’s “show-cause notice,” and the police case filed by Ansari all point to the same thing that AMU authorities don’t stand with the students when it comes to upholding the freedom of speech and expression.