By PTI
ALIGARH: The Aligarh Muslim University has asked students to vacate its hostels and return home in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as a student leader expressed strong reservations, saying those from rural areas would face difficulties in continuing studies online due to poor connectivity.

The decision to this effect was taken during an online meeting of top university officials on Thursday and the order was issued on Friday by the varsity’s registrar, Abdul Hamid.

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) spokesperson Prof Shafey Kidwai said it is in “the interest of students and their health that they vacate the hostels and stay in the safety of their homes”.

Former AMU students’ union president Faizul Hasan on Saturday said by staying in hostels students, who are mostly from rural areas, were able to continue their online studies, which will be very difficult to manage from their native places because of connectivity issues.

It will also become difficult for them to complete admission and other formalities, he said, adding that during travel students will be in the risk of contracting the infection.

Hasan also pointed out that a large number of students were residing in different hostels when restrictions were imposed in Uttar Pradesh in view of the pandemic.

Besides, at the campus students are getting the best of medical assistance, including Covid vaccination, which will not be available in most rural areas, he said and urged AMU authorities to review its decision.

The registrar has said that letters will be sent by the provost to parents of students who are residing in hostels to ensure that their wards vacate hostels and return home.

The letter will be sent to all parents impressing upon them that this step is necessary to ensure safety of health of students in wake of the pandemic, the registrar pointed out.