Republic TV has exposed a terror apologist conspiracy emerging at controversy-engulfed Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) where numerous justifications were given for terrorists picking up guns, at an event. As per the terminology used in the speech by an activist at AMU, the terrorists were "forced to pick up guns".
The event took place at AMU's Kennedy Hall on April 26 and saw activist Gautam Navlakha justifying and attributing circumstances in India that allegedly forced Mannan Wani, an AMU research scholar, to take up arms. Wani had allegedly joined the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in January 2018.
Addressing the event called 'Convention Against State Excesses', Navlakha said:
"Mannan Wani was amongst you all. In this very Kennedy hall he had organised a meeting in 2014 where I was present too. My first and last meeting with Mannan Wani took place here. I keep asking one question to myself. He was a bright student of AMU. Good organiser. Very bright student. What is the reason that he had to pick up the gun? Why did he feel that he had no other way except his one? Very sensitive boy. Extremely bright. Very intelligent. My point is, if you can compel people like Mannan Wani, that he finds no other way ahead other than picking the gun and fighting. Then what are you talking about?"
Navlakha went on to question democracy in India, saying:
"What democracy are you talking about? There is no such democracy in Kashmir. He studied in Aligarh, not in Kashmir. He didn't get confidence of inspiration from developments here. He didn't get influenced by developments here, meaning he even disliked Indian democracy. Why? He didn't feel inspired, he didn't feel there is any hope in fighting in any other way than the gun, if he has to work for Kashmir, isn't it? It means there is something fundamentally wrong in this society and this country we live in today."
Navlakha then spoke about the Army chief, saying:
"He had made huge promises to Indians and had warned the Kashmiris that if any of you come out then or help the militants, then we will label you an overground worker and kill you. He had also said that 'I wish these people pick up the gun, so I can gun them down'. These were the big statements he gave in January last year. Today, he's saying that we can't beat each other. It's surprising."
The event had taken place in the week immediately before a huge controversy broke out over the portrait of Pakistan's 'Father of the Nation' Muhammad Ali Jinnah that has been on a wall at AMU since 1938. Following protests at AMU by groups that wanted the portrait removed, as well as those who wanted it to remain, a tense situation had prevailed forcing Section 144 against unlawful gathering to be imposed and mobile services to be shut down. Much like the events at JNU in 2016, chants of 'Azaadi' and related slogans were raised.