190502 burqa
Image Credit: AP

After student leaders at the Dharam Samaj (DS) college ‘warned’ Muslim students to not wear burqas and skullcaps to the facility, in support of Muslims at the institute, students from another college demanded action.

However, DS college issued a notice banning the clothing items following the issue.

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday demanded action against student leaders of DS college, who, a day earlier, had told students from the minority community not to wear burqas or skullcaps to campus.

The student leaders also threatened that they would start wearing saffron clothes if the minority students didn’t stop wearing religiously affiliated attire to campus within 72 hours, according to a report by newspaper Times of India.

A criminal case was filed against the student leaders. 

According to a report by news magazine, India Today, they have been identified as Amit Goswami, Aditya Pandit and Saurabh Chaudary who demanded the criminal case filed against them to be withdrawn as there were no complainants in the case and the police had itself filed the case.

Following protests in support of the student leaders, DS college proceeded to ban Muslim students from wearing burqas and skullcaps inside the campus.

The notice the college issued, states that the male students wearing skull caps to the college will be made to remove them at the entrance. While female students wearing burqas to college may remove it in the girls' common room before attending classes.

India Today reported that chief proctor Mukesh Bharadwaj said that the educational facility already has a dress code that bans any extraneous items worn over the college uniform and that includes skull caps and burqas.

The student leaders claimed that they were seeking implementation of an existing dress code inside the college when they ‘warned’ Muslim students.

"How could a demand raised in front of the chief proctor of the college hurt religious feelings?" Goswami was quoted a sasking by India Today.

In support of the Muslim students at DS college, former president of AMU students ’ union (AMUSU), Salman Imtiaz, was quoted by Time of India as saying: “We demand immediate action against these saffron hate-mongers, and call upon the state government to prevent such elements from spreading communal discord. AMUSU calls upon college authorities to act against these students attempting to damage campus peace.”

Imtiaz added that such sentiments are a threat to constitutional values of freedom of education and freedom of dress for Indian minorities.

Imtiaz also said not only are these ‘saffron groups’ enemies of the Muslim community, but also threaten other communities.

Furthermore, a group of students that includes some students of AMU, have submitted a memorandum to the local administration, saying the threat was provocative and meant to interfere with the atmosphere in DS college campus.

“We want strict action against these anti-social elements, who have tried to create fissures between the two communities,” two undergraduate students of AMU were quoted as saying.