President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Al Quds University here in Palestine met with protests by angry students forcing the President to cancel a school inauguration event even as violence continued in East Jerusalem.
Mr. Mukherjee went to the university to inaugurate a Centre for Excellence in Information Communication and Technology before wrapping up his Palestine visit, the first ever by an Indian President.
As soon as Mr. Mukherjee’s speech was over, a group of students assembled in front of the auditorium, carrying a placard that read “you have to listen to our voices.”
By the time security guards rushed the President outside the auditorium hundreds of students started a protest demonstration. Another placards they carried read: “Dear India, boycott Zionism, our murderer, our butcher”.
Mr. Mukherjee was to inaugurate a secondary school for boys named after Jawaharlal Nehru after the function at the university. But amid tensions, he cancelled the event and left for Israel.
The students said they are protesting against the killings of students from the university by the Israeli forces in East Jerusalem as India is a partner state of Israel.
“We’re trying to draw the attention of the Indian government as well as the Palestinian government. The world has to speak for us, speak against this cruelty by the Israelis, Amanda Zarif, a psychology students at the university told.
“Four students from the university were killed in Jerusalem in recent clashes. The Palestinian government of Mahmoud Abbas is doing nothing. We want them to do something to stop the atrocities against the people,” added Ms. Zarif.