Within hours of suspending two students who were arrested in connection with the Delhi serial blasts, Jamia Millia Islamia University Vice Chancellor Mushirul Hassan declared on Monday night that the university would defend its students in court.
Asserting that the university's reputation was at stake, he said in a terse statement, "The university feels morally bound to defend its students until proven guilty and we will use the legal apparatus for this."
Professor Hassan had himself chaired the meeting that suspended Mohammad Shakeel, a student of MA (economics) and Zia-ur -Rehman, a student of final year BA (Pass). But he was persuaded by other faculty members to provide the arrested students with legal help.
Mohammad Atif Amin, the alleged ring leader killed in Friday's encounter at Jamia Nagar, was also a student of MA (human rights) in the university.
Another student, Saquib Nisaar, is in police custody for his alleged involvement in the blasts. However, the university has refused to accept that Nisaar is its student without first cross-checking his name against the students' rolls.
The encounter, in which Atif and another accomplice were shot dead, took place in the university's neighbourhood. "The incidents in the neighbouring locality have caused much concern to all of us," admitted Vice Chancellor Hassan.
Though the vice-chancellor expressed his "satisfaction as our students have remained calm and restrained in their conduct," the students themselves have been edgy about the entire episode. Concerned parents are also urging their children to take a few days' leave and go back home.
Many students, who have been staying in rented accommodations in Jamia Nagar because of its closeness to the university, have either gone home or are planning to do so. According to them, it is difficult to concentrate on studies in such an atmosphere.
Since the shootout, the area has witnessed heavy police patrolling, checkposts at every corner and regular inspections in the night.
The Jamia Millia Islamia University today suspended two of its students who have been arrested by the Delhi Police for being allegedly involved in the serial blasts in the capital.
"The suspects who were arrested are now prima facie suspended from the university. But the suspension is subject to verification by the disciplinary committee of the university comprising the Vice Chancellor, Dean and Proctor," varsity spokesperson Rakshanda Jaleel said.
The disciplinary committee would meet on Tuesday to examine the action and decide whether the students need expulsion, she said.
Jaleel, however, added that the university had not received any "official" information about the students from Delhi police.
The atmosphere in the campus was meanwhile tense and students, including classmates of the two arrested, expressed a sense of insecurity since the incident took place.
Out of the three arrested by Delhi police yesterday, Mohammed Shakeel and Zia-ur Rehman were students at the varsity.
Sandeep Kumar, a classmate of Zia-ur-Rehman, said Rehman was a regular and bright student during his first year in the university, but during his third year he started missing his classes.
"I was in utter shock when I learnt about his involvement in the recent Delhi blasts. However, his behaviour sometimes was suspicious and he preferred to be friends with students coming from his adjoining district," he added.
Another student, Wasuq Malik, voiced his concern over the involvement of educated people in terrorist activities and said "if educated people resort to terror tactics and indulge themselves in anti-national works then there is no place for such people in our society".
Malik, who is pursuing his post-graduation in public administration said he had seen Shakeel many times in the campus and it did not appeared to him that Shakeel could get involved in Delhi blasts.
Students were also seen talking about the recent spate of terror strikes which shook Delhi.
Asked whether students would face any problems in getting accommodation in the nearby areas after this, Jaleel said no university can provide residential facilities to all its students.
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