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Library Access Denied To College Girls In Aligarh For Fear That They Will "Attract" Boys

"Have you girls ever seen the library? It is jam-packed with boys. If girls too were to be present in it, the discipline issue might crop up," said Naima Gulrez, principal of the women's college.

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Via amu.ac.in

Students of Aligarh Muslim University, a women's college, were denied access to the Maulana Azad Library by ruling of the university's Vice-Chancellor, Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah.

According to the Times of India, Vice-Chancellor Shah stated that there would be "four times more boys" in the library if girls were allowed in. "The issue is not of discipline, but of space," he said. "Our library is packed."

The students of AMU requested membership to the Maulana Azad Library as it is reportedly better stocked than their university library, and is conveniently close by.

The principal of the women's college, Naima Gulrez, reportedly agreed with the Vice Chancellor's views.

"We understand the demand for access to the library. But have you girls ever seen the library? It is jam-packed with boys. If girls too were to be present in it, the discipline issue might crop up," she reportedly said in an address on Monday.

Previously, several students' unions had also demanded access to the well equipped Maulana Azad Library, which is located just 3 k.m. from the Women's College.

Via amu.ac.in

"We are students of Aligarh Muslim University. We, too, should have the benefit of accessing the famous Maulana Azad Library," Gulfiza Khan, president of the Women's College students' union, reportedly said. "The library in the Women's College is not enough. If space is a problem, we can just issue books and not sit in the library."

She further asserted that there should be no discrimination between male and female students, and that access to a good library is necessary for the all-round development of all students.

Librarian Amjad Ali of the Maulana Azad Library said, "If the Women's College library demands books, we send them instantly. The purpose is solved without the students coming here."

Shadab Bano, assistant professor of History at the Women's College, said, "The discipline issue can be tackled only if women are not in a minority in the library, which is usually packed with male students. And also, it is the responsibility of the university to assure the safety and protection of women."