New Delhi: Disappointed by "unnecessary delay" in providing required land for an AMU campus in Bihar, activists from Kishanganj in the state will hold simultaneous demonstrations on October 12 in the capital and their home district to press Nitish Kumar government to expedite the matter.
The initiative to start five regional off-campus centres was aimed at making the University accessible to educationally backward regions and the AMU administration had identified Kishanganj as the ideal place for a subsidiary centre.
However, while similar moves in Malappuram in Kerala and in Murshidabad district of West Bengal have kicked off, the Bihar centre has been delayed.
AMU Vice Chancellor P K Abdul Azis says the University requires 250 acres of land at a single stretch to start the campus, but the Bihar government was providing three separate pieces of land that would not serve its purpose.
The administration also claims that a part of the land being alloted is under encroachment by the tribals.
The announcement of a University campus had come as a piece of good news to many in the educationally-backward area of Kishanganj but the people are now agitated as its fate hangs in the balance.
A group of activists under the banner of AMU Centre Coordination Committee will hold an agitation in front of Bihar Bhawan in Delhi on Wednesday, and similar protests will be staged in Kishanganj to demand that the Nitish Kumar government resolves the issue and get the centre going.
"On September 12, MLAs and MPs from Kishanganj and adjoining areas gave a memorandum to the Bihar government asking them to resolve the issue in 30 days, failing which agitation will be launched in the area," said Kaifee Anwar, a member of the committee in Delhi.
"We are not blaming anyone, but it is the government's job to resolve any issue and we want them to do it on priority basis as this is important for the region with a population of almost one crore," said the marketing professional from Bihar.
The activists are worried that politics over the issue and the "unnecessary delay" would harm the peoples' interests. "It is a poor district with a large population of the educationaly deprived Muslims, many of whom cannot afford to go out and study. The campus was a ray of hope for such people and we want it to become operational as soon as possible," said Mahfooz Alam, a software engineer based in New Delhi, originally from Kishanganj.
On September 30, a group of academicians, students and politicians, including Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan, attended a conference here to push the Bihar Government and AMU administration to resolve the issue immediately.
Meanwhile, a fresh controversy has erupted with the Bihar Minister for Human Resource Development P K Sahi alleging that the AMU VC was "doing politics" over the issue.