The coordination committee of the Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) Uttar Pradesh state executive body has issued a charter of “Muslim problems”, i.e. a 15-point resolution, and demanded its inclusion in the election manifestos of all political parties. It has also requested assurances that the flaws would be addressed. The committee includes over 100 members from teaching and non-teaching staff, students, and alumni, and has requested a prompt inquiry and release of innocent people charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2019 and the National Security Act, 1980.
It has also claimed compensation and rehabilitation for victims who have been wrongfully accused by security forces and subjected to lengthy detention and brutal torture, but were later proved innocent and exonerated by the courts. The committee has also called for the withdrawal of cases against activists who protested the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The resolution also called for the passage of comprehensive anti-communal and anti-hate crime legislation that includes “stringent punishment and speedy trial, as well as the formation of a task force with adequate representation of stakeholders for vigilance against harassment and atrocities against minorities”. In addition to “systematic harassment by the communally-biased ruling dispensation” and disappointment over the silence of all secular parties who had previously enjoyed power due to the support of their voters, the committee said that the upcoming election in UP is crucial for the community.
This is not the first time the group has attempted to get its name included on UP’s election platform. The Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys’ Association (AMUOBA), Lucknow wing, had earlier produced a list of nine requests for political parties seeking minority votes diring the UP legislative assembly election. The AMUOBA stated in December 2021 that it was the appropriate moment for Muslims and other marginalised people to reach an agreement with political parties. “All political parties are pushing to win the votes of the backward groups and Muslims in their favour,” AMUOBA president Professor Shakeel Ahmad Kidwai remarked, demanding representation of Muslims in government bodies, proportionate to the size of their electoral base. He alleged that political parties have exploited these communities, but have never given them any political importance in the state.