In a historic move, Aligarh Muslim University’s women students broke hostel locks to join a protest against right-wing groups who performed armed attacks in the university campus. An attack by 20-25 goons, allegedly from right-wing group Hindu Yuva Vahini, took place in the university on Wednesday, when the former Vice President Hamid Ansari had come to the university to deliver a speech. The protesters also objected against displaying of a portrait of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the varsity students’ union office.

While the students irrespective of their gender protested against the attacks along with their teachers, the college administration restricted the women students to go to their hostels. They also put up a huge lock on the hostel gates so that women students are not able to join the sloganeering against the right-wing attacks. Noted student’s collective, Pinjra Tod showed solidarity towards the students of AMU who stood tall against the armed attacks by Hindutva protesters.

This is a testimony to the many possibilities of collective resistance and subversion at different planes and levels that a movement enables. To quote what a women resident of AMU said ‘Pinjre bhi toot rahe hai’.

The collective said in a press statement, “A systematic attack on university spaces that have emerged as sites of resistance against the current government has been an integral part of the strategies of repression and violence adopted by this government. This vicious attack on a minority institution and subsequent bogus propaganda desperately spread by the right-wing media to prove AMU’s so-called ‘anti-national‘ credentials –was clearly an attempt by the current Hindutva regime to further intensify the marginalisation of and violence against Muslims, to produce an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.”

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“But the students and teachers of AMU with their massive protests have shown us that in the face of brutal power, we will fight back with our collective power. Slogans against RSS and BJP reverberated loud and clear at Bab-E-Syed today,” the statement released on Friday added.

The collective, particularly supported and praised the women students of AMU as the students broke the locks of their main hostel gates, when the university administration tried to stop them from joining the protests in the evening and threatened them with disciplinary action.

Women students from different undergraduate and post-graduate hostels joined the demonstrations in huge numbers, defying the diktats of the administration. “This is a testimony to the many possibilities of collective resistance and subversion at different planes and levels that a movement enables. To quote what a women resident of AMU said ‘Pinjre bhi toot rahe hai’.”

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