Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor Lieutenant General Zameeruddin Shah said Tuesday he is not "sexist" and did not want to segregate girls.
According to reports, Shah Monday turned down a demand of students of Women's College for access to the university's Maulana Azad Library, saying that there would be "four times more boys" in the library if girls were allowed in.
"These reports are completely wrong. I said there is no space for even a single seat in that library. We are not sexist and we also want women empowerment and certainly don't want to segregate our girls," Shah said.
Defending himself, Shah added: "In the women's college we have given grants of Rs.11 lakh so that the library could be improved with air conditioners like in the Maulana Azad library. Every book which is there at Maulana Library is already available online for the girls."
Taking strong offence to the AMU V-C's remarks, Human Resources Development Minister Smriti Irani's office on Tuesday sought a report from the university.
In a letter to the University, the HRD Ministry said, "This is a violation of the fundamental rights of women. The contravention of fundamental rights will not permitted."
HRD Minister Smriti Irani terms the move an "insult to daughters", says, "AMU VC's reported remark not only hurts as a woman but also agitates."
Lt General Zameeruddin Shah is a former Deputy Chief of the Army Staff. An alumnus of St Joseph's College Nainital and NDA Khadakvasla, Zameeruddin is the brother of actor Naseeruddin Shah.