Tension over the Jinnah portrait row in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) continued to prevail in the city on Friday, forcing authorities to clamp Section 144 of CrPC and suspend internet services, and the Aligarh district administration ordering a magisterial inquiry into the violence.
"There will be no internet services from 2 pm today to 12 midnight tomorrow," district magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
The magisterial inquiry will be conducted by additional district magistrate (ADM) Bachchu Singh and he will submit a report within 15 days.
Meanwhile, protesters were joined by student representatives from varsities like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia and Allahabad University on Friday, according to reports.
AMU students continued their sit-in at the university's Baab-e-Syed gate, where they had clashed with the police on Wednesday. Twenty-eight students were injured in a lathi charge by the police.
They are boycotting classes for the next two days. Wednesday’s clash took place when the students were demanding action against right-wing protesters who had entered the campus and wanted Jinnah’s portrait removed from the student union office, where it has been hanging for decades.
The students offered Friday prayers at the scene of the dharna in which a large number of teachers and other members of the AMU fraternity participated.
According to reports, AMU has contacted the HRD Ministry and demanded a judicial inquiry in the matter. AMU vice chancellor Mansoor stayed away from the protest site, but visited the students who were injured in the lathi charge at the hospital.
Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Aligarh MP Satish Gautam was the first to question the portrait's presence in the office, which has been there for decades.
Samajwadi Party MP compares Jinnah to Gandhi, Nehru
Amidst the ongoing tension, Samajwadi Party MP Praveen Nishad likened Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
"The BJP is playing dirty politics in the name of Jinnah which is highly condemnable. Nehru and Gandhi contributed for the freedom of the country but it cannot be denied that Jinnah equally contributed for it," he said.
"The people of a certain religion have become so-called nationalists," he said.
The SP leader said keeping in view the 2019 general elections, the BJP was trying to "divide the people in the name of religion and caste. We are citizens of this country and Muslim brothers are also citizens and whoever has taken birth in the country belongs to it and has equal rights".
India belongs to all citizens and let no one pose any threat to its unity, he said.
"When we take the name of Bhagat Singh, we also take the name of Ashfaqulla Khan and Veer Abdul Hameed who sacrificed their lives for the county but the BJP wants the country to forget their names," Nishad said.
He said Hindus and Muslims equally contributed for the country's freedom, "but the BJP wants communal riots for political gains".
Nishad accused the saffron party of trying to polarise the people ahead the 2019 polls and said, "We won't let them play this dirty game."
All-India Muslim Mahasangh chief announces Rs 1 lakh reward for destroying Jinnah’s posters
The national head of All-India Muslim Mahasangh on Friday announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for destroying Jinnah’s posters.
Speaking to ANI, Farhat Ali Khan said that no organisation in Pakistan must be having photos of Indian leaders who fought for Indian leaders for independence, and the vice versa should be followed in India.
"I appeal everyone to tear and burn down posters of Jinnah and people like him. I announce a reward of Rs 1 Lakh cash for the one who burns down the poster," Khan said.
The Muslim Mahasangh chief further stated that Muslims in India hate both Jinnah and Pakistan.