As a campus correspondent for Newslaundry for almost nine months now, I have written several reports and articles regarding developments in campus politics in Aligarh Muslim University. Many of them had featured the Aligarh Muslim University Students’ Union (AMUSU) members and their takes on some of the most grievous issues of the country and were reported genuinely such as this and this one.
I had never thought that I would have to write a report about an AMUSU member for beating me up for writing a Facebook post. The post was about the AMUSU secretary, Nabeel Usmani (no, he is not related to me. It’s just that we’re from the same town) getting his hall ticket and then branding himself as a ‘Baahubali’. The students in AMU need 60 per cent attendance to get a hall-ticket for appearing in examinations. Every year many students fail to get their hall ticket because of shortage of attendance.
This year Usmani along with several other students failed to get their hall-ticket. The secretary had 8 per cent attendance this year and was denied admit card for the final exams. He blocked the main university road, locked up university staff and disrupted the exams which, as a result, had to be postponed. Continuing this attitude of locking the staff and disrupting the exams, he managed to get his hall ticket. No sooner did he get hi hall-ticket, did his companions started writing posts trying to portray him as a ‘baahubali’.
I wrote a post on Facebook on May 19. It was about Nabeel getting his hall ticket while others did not. I wrote that Nabeel Usmani is a students’ union leader and in that capacity he could have demanded the hall-tickets of all those students who failed to get it themselves. I also urged him to ask his companion not to use words like ‘baahubali’ and ‘dabangg’ for him. This post was perhaps was too much for him to digest.
On May 20, at 7:00 PM in evening, I received a call from one of his companions. I knew the person for two years. He said that he wanted to meet me. We decided to meet at library canteen. When I reached library canteen I found that along with the person who called me, there were 8-10 other people including Usmani. They started abusing and manhandling me and then forced me to sit in the vehicle they had. They took me to the varsity’s swimming pool area which is a kind of isolated place during evening time. On reaching there they started beating me up. Nabeel Usmani snatched my phone, forced me to put my password and then he deleted the concerned post from facebook and all the call recordings I had, while continuously abusing all the time. When done, they threatened to murder if I ever wrote against him again and went.
I have written a complaint to the varsity’s security in charges in written and have demanded suspension of the secretary and his companions ( if they were university students which I believe they were not).