http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080926/j ... 889984.jsp
ew Delhi, Sept. 25: A backpack slung across his slender shoulders, Jamia Millia Islamia student Manzoor Alam held up a placard emblazoned with his message to the nation.
“We have books, not AK-47s,” it said.
Students, teachers and administrators from Jamia marched down the university’s main boulevard today, unleashing naked anguish as a weapon against what they perceive as persecution of Jamia and the Muslim faith.
Dubbed a “peace march”, it was a public show of unity after six days of tension following police claims that many of the suspected terrorists behind the September 13 Delhi blasts were Jamia students.
Vice-chancellor Mushirul Hasan led the march, alongside students holding the Tricolour, in a planned rebuttal to the BJP, which has questioned his patriotism after the university decided to legally aid its students arrested on terror suspicion.
Behind them followed a sea — girls, boys, teachers and other staff; Hindu and Muslim, Indian and foreign — that flowed from the university faculty of engineering to the department of education, placards bobbing above the heads.
“The university needs this show of unity at a time when its patriotic credentials are being questioned by some,” said Sreepati Ramadu, political science lecturer.
Underneath the veneer of unity, however, fissures may be threatening to break out.
Five hours after the 11am march, at a closed-door catharsis session for students organised by Jamia’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution — journalists strictly barred —divisions surfaced along religious lines, sources present said.One group of students argued that the “persecution of Muslims was because of Hindus” and tried to draw a distinction between students from the two religions, the sources said.The group was outnumbered, though, and restrained from speaking further. Another division also erupted at the “open forum” titled “Shootout at Batla House. What it means to us.”
One set expressed faith that the law-enforcement agencies and, especially, the judiciary would “ultimately” ensure justice. Others were “disgusted” at the “biased” media, the police “excesses” and did not have “much faith in the judiciary either”.
Officially, the students sent out a message of unity. “We must remain united, we decided. We are opposed to police excesses, if these happened, though we are not condoning terrorism. But fundamental rights must be protected,” Madhumita Das, an MA student at the Centre, said.