No protests on Afzal hanging during Sonia visit: AMU students assure admn

Authorities at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Tuesday heaved a sigh of relief when the Kashmiri students assured that they would not hold any protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru before UPA president Sonia Gandhi when she arrives to preside over the convocation on February 16.

On Monday, around 200 Kashmiri students had taken out a protest march on the campus against Guru's hanging. "The government did not inform the family of Guru about the decision of hanging. We want that his mortal remains should be handed over to his family," said Malik Yasir, a Kashmiri research scholar. He explained: "Our protest march was on the issue of Guru, we are not against the visit of Sonia."

"The authorities denied us permission for the march, but we took it out peacefully to protest against the process that the Centre followed for execution of Guru," said Malik Yasir, adding that non-Kashmiri students also joined in the protest.

Although only 200 of the around 800 Kashmiri students joined the march, the authorities were apprehensive. After the assurance, they are now relaxed.

University spokesman Rahat Abrar said: "Today we received the confirmation of arrival of Sonia and preparations for her visit are being made. We do not see any problem."

He said that it will be after 88 long years when a woman will deliver the convocation address at AMU. The university's founder chancellor Begum Sultan Jahan had delivered the first convocation address in 1925. In between, no woman delivered the convocation address.

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