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As Jinnah portrait row escalates, AMU postpones examinations till May 12

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) has postponed the forthcoming examinations of the varsity for session 2017-18 till May 12. According to a notification issued by the Office of Controller of Examinations of AMU, the examinations will now start from May 12. The examinations were earlier slated to commence from . The decision was taken in a consultative meeting of the Deans of Faculties and other top officials in the presence of Vice- Chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Sunday. The notification said that details regarding the modified schedule of the examinations will be declared soon. The AMU is at a centre of a row over displaying of Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnahs picture in the student union hall within the campus. On Saturday, the VC had appointed a committee comprising 16 members to hold talks with students to defuse the tension. Last week, a violence broke out between the varsity students and activists of Hindu Yuva Vahini, a right-wing organisation, near the AMU, prompting the police to fire teargas shells and lathicharge the students. Around 20 students were injured in the incident. Several students had also organised a dharna in front of the varsitys Baab-e-Syed gate. Later, the administration had deployed heavy police officials and a contingent of Rapid Action Force (RAF) to check law and order situation. A protest was also organised near Uttar Pradesh Bhawan in the national capital on Friday. The students from different universities in the national capital such as Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi University and JNU also participated in the protest. The Aligarh Muslim University Teachers Association (AMUTA) had also sent a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding to urgently set up a high-level judicial probe into the entire incident. The controversy erupted when local BJP MP Satish Gautam wrote a letter to the VC seeking an explanation over displaying of Jinnahs portrait in the university campus. In the letter, the BJP lawmaker had asked him of the compulsion behind installing a photo of the man who had played a key role in the partition of India in 1947. However, the varsity has said that Jinnahs portrait was installed in 1938 when he was honoured with the lifetime membership of the student union, much before the partition, and thus no controversy should be seen in this.