Removed from directorship of CPECEAMI for views on Ayodhya verdict, claims AMU professor

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) professor and prominent Islamic scholar Dr Rashid Shaz has claimed that he was removed from the post of director at the Center for Promotion of Educational and Cultural Advancement of Muslims of India (CPECEAMI) over his views on the Ayodhya verdict.

The AMU administration has termed the charge as "baseless".

As per an office memo dated November 21, the vice-chancellor of the university ordered replacement of Shaz with Dr Naseem Ahmed Khan with "immediate effect". The memo did not cite any reason for his removal.

Speaking over the matter, Shaz said that before the Ayodhya verdict, the vice-chancellor of the university had directed that "no one will speak on Ayodhya issue". However, he did not accept the order and shared his views on the Ayodhya verdict.

The professor further claimed he was removed from the post as "part of the punishment" and said it was his conscience which prompted to share his views on Ayodhya verdict with the administration.

He asserted that the university should have "freedom to think and speak. If it ends then the University has no significance."

At the same time, AMU spokesperson Dr Rahat Abrar said that the accusation is baseless and his removal was the part of a routine. "A director of CPECEAMI was appointed for 3 years while Shaz had served for 6 years," he said.

Abrar, however, said that in the wake of the Ayodhya verdict, the Centre appealed that everyone should respect the apex court's verdict and not make any necessary comments.