Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Deoband: Vice Chancellor Vastanvi to stay on

February 23, 2011 Deoband:

The top clergy of Darul Uloom met in Deoband today and decided that Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi will stay on as the seminary\'s Vice Chancellor (VC). Vastanvi had been in the eye of controversy following his remarks praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Vastanvi, who hails from Gujarat and has a MBA degree, was elected VC on January 10. But soon after his appointment, he triggered a controversy with his remarks praising Modi\'s rule and his development policy.

He reportedly said that Muslims should forget the communal riots of 2002 and move on and that the community did not face discrimination in Gujarat.

The students in the seminary were divided on the issue. The teachers backing Vastanvi had threatened to go on strike if he is removed from the position.

In the second week of February, clashes broke out inside the seminary between pro and anti-Vastanvi groups, leaving several people injured.

Following the clashes, prohibitory orders were enforced by authorities under Section 144 of CrPC to ensure peace in the sensitive town.

Darul Uloom had banned media persons from entering its premises till February 23. The reason given was that presence of media persons was affecting students\' preparations for the upcoming examinations.

\"This step has been taken to avoid the controversy affecting students busy preparing for their examinations beginning February 26,\" Deputy Vice Chancellor Maulana Abdul Khalique said.

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