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Jinnah portrait row: AMU Vice Chancellor Meets Rajnath Singh

Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor Tariq Mansoor today met Home Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss issues concerning the premier academic institution, engulfed in controversy over a portrait of Muhammad Ali Jinnah on its premises, an official said.

Mr Mansoor later told reporters that the meeting was fixed long ago and had nothing to do with the current controversy. “I have requested the home minister to send Central government officials for the recruitment of students in central services like the engineering service,” he said.

The VC said Jinnah’s portrait had been hanging in the AMU students’ union office since 1938 and it was a non-issue.

The vice-chancellor had yesterday told students on a sit-in over the issue to get back to their studies. In an open letter, he urged them “not to fall into the trap of certain forces which are bent upon destroying the image of our alma mater and are playing with your bright future”.

The university has formed a 16-member coordination committee of senior faculty members to talk to the protesting students. BJP MP Satish Gautam had written to Mansoor objecting to the portrait, triggering a row that led to two men being arrested in connection with violence and exams being postponed to May 12.

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