The VC, who is the brother of renowned film actor Naseeruddin Shah, justified his order by saying, "The issue is not of discipline, but of space. Our library is packed."
Advocating AMU's vice chancellor stand, Women's College principal Naima Gulrez said, "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."
As per reports, the Maulana Azad Library has better stock of books than the Women's College library. Till now, Women's College students are not given membership of the library.
Gulfiza Khan, president of the Women's College students' union, was quoted as saying in TOI, "We are students of Aligarh Muslim University. We, too, should have the benefit of accessing the famous Maulana Azad Library. 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 also said in the report that access to a good library was necessary for the all-round development of students, without discrimination between boys and girls.
The Maulana Azad Library can seat 1,300 readers at a time and has 12 seats reserved for women students of AMU.
Earlier also students from women's college demanded access to the MAL and even an alumnus of the Women's College had written in 2011: "The first time I stepped into the Maulana Azad Library, I was awed by its grandeur. More than that, I felt frustration at not being able to reach out to those shelves, browse through books and borrow a tiny bit of that wealth. It is time that the university stops infantilizing and discriminating against its female students, and starts treating them with equal dignity and respect."
Meanwhile, the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) general secretary Jagmati Sangwan was quoted as saying in ANI report, "This is a very unfortunate statement, action should be taken against such statements."
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Barkha Shukla also condemned AMU VC's statement, and said that this reflects the university's mindset.
"The statement that if the girls are allowed in the library, then guys will get attracted and crowd the place, shows the kind of mindset that is prevalent there. This is wrong, and in the current times, women can't be oppressed," Barkha Shukla was quoted as saying in ANI report.