New Delhi: Words matter when they come straight from the horse’s mouth.

In a letter circulated via social media by Kashmiri terrorist Mannan Wani, who joined Hizbul Mujahedeen after his stint as an MPhil and PhD student at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and was killed in an encounter with forces in Kupwara in October 2018, one could fathom the favourable role played by the varsity in his journey towards the gun.

Wani has lauded the varsity for the atmosphere that it provided him and which was rooted in the narrative of AMU being the symbol of oppression of the Muslims. The letter, titled ‘Voice from hills’, was circulated on September 14.

Also read: Terrorist Mannan Bashir Wani was protégé of Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Wani also hinted at, while appreciating the portrait of Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah that is “still hanging” at the university, a second partition of the nation. 

Interestingly, the AMU students’ union had recently condemned the Centre’s decision to ban Jamaat-i-Islami Jammu and Kashmir as part of the crackdown on terror after the Pulwama attack which claimed the lives of over 40 CRPF personnel on February 14. It had issued a letter endorsing the separatist organisation.

AMU’s role in Wani’s journey

Wani mentioned that while he had got selected for the University of Kashmir, the “suffocation” there, had weighed upon him to opt for a “leading Indian varsity at Aligarh” in 2009.

Critical of the legal challenge to the minority status of the varsity, Wani lamented that AMU was “contesting its history in the courts of law”.

With a mistaken sense of history, which could have come only from the dominant narrative inside the varsity, the terrorist, who was studying geology at AMU, wrote: “My beautiful alma-mater was born to the blood of Muslims, and today it is facing the atrocious Hindutva.”

“I am sure that the spirit of the Founder will overwhelm the tirade of the fascists and my garden will bloom,” he added.

Wani also took the audience through his life at AMU that ‘fed his belly, his bosom and his brain’; a brain that was moving towards terrorism. Wani’s words also prove that he went to AMU to study in the least, but to “reach the hall of dispute where the picture of the Founder of Pakistan is still hanging”.

“My University life was beyond an MPhil or a PhD Degree. I was active and political. The Dhabas would feed my belly, my bosom and my brain. I led the campaigns that brought student leaders to thrones, and reach the hall of dispute where the picture of the Founder of Pakistan is still hanging…,” Wani wrote.

Wani said that the Muslims of India might need the identity symbolised by Jinnah. To him the portrait of Jinnah at AMU was a symbol of an “identity which Indian Muslims may need again in the Tharoor’s emerging India. India of Nehru and Ghandi gave us a Sachhar Report; the New India is preparing the templates for the obituaries of the lynched.”

AMU’s anti-national letter

In a letter issued by AMU Students' Union (AMUSU) president Salman Imtiaz on the organisation’s letterhead, the students’ body lamented the ban against what it considers to be a “popular organisation in Kashmir with grassroots network of social service support system for the victims of conflict, and offers livelihood to orphans and widows in the state”.

According to sources, the role of a professor too is under the scanner.

When MyNation contacted Imtiaz, he said he would call later to give his statement. In the letter, the AMUSU labelled nationalism a “dangerous narrative”.

Trying to deflect the JeI’s connection with terror outfits active in the Valley, the AMU students’ body attributed the Centre’s action to political vendetta and the approaching general election. It said that the JeI was a “socio-religious-political organisation” and the ban came as a “shock”.

Also read — Nation shamed: Aligarh Muslim University decapitates India’s map, removes Jammu and Kashmir

It said that India was “passing through turbulent times and the Modi government has unleashed a state of undeclared emergency, curbing dissent in all forms and imposing a dangerous narrative of nationalism on India”.

Imtiaz also said that the JeI ran according to its constitution and that it was “neither an underground organisation, nor is it a terror outfit”.

“As the BJP rule is coming to an end, and Parliamentary elections are just weeks away, the ban on Jamaat appears to be a decision that has little to do with unlawful activities, and more to do with the hardcore Hindutva politics. Almost all political parties, be it the National Conference, PDP and Congress, have snubbed the ban. The religious leadership in Kashmir, civil society and traders have also condemned the ban as politically motivated,” Imtiaz said.

Terror trend in AMU

Earlier, just after the Pulwama attack, AMU student Basim Hilal from Kashmir had put out a pro-Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) tweet: “How's the Jaish? Great Sir.”

His tweet was twisted version of a now-famous dialogue from the movie Uri: The Surgical Strike. Hilal was thrown out of the varsity and an FIR was lodged.