New Delhi: The Congress-affiliated NSUI on Thursday said it blackened the bust of Veer Savarkar and garlanded those of Bhagat Singh and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Delhi University.
The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad-led Delhi University Students’ Union had installed the busts outside the Arts Faculty building inside the DU campus on Tuesday.
The National Students’ Union of India and the Left-backed All India Students’ Association had criticised the move, saying Savarkar cannot be on the same pedestal as Bose and Singh.
In a video of the incident, NSUI Delhi wing president Akshay Lakra can be seen garlanding the busts of Bose and Singh and bowing before them. He then removes the garlands around Savarkar’s bust and puts a garland of shoes around it despite being stopped by security personnel.
Lakra then blackens the bust and shouts ‘Bhagat Singh zindabad’ and ‘NSUI zindabad’.
“How could they put the bust of Savarkar alongside Bose and Bhagat Singh, that too overnight. We had to take the matter into our hands. The university administration has been silent on the issue. The varsity is working at the behest of ABVP,” Lakra alleged.
The ABVP termed it a “heinous act”.
“The humiliation by the NSUI of the statue of Veer Savarkar at Delhi University is a heinous act and such an act for trivial political interests reflects Congress’s thinking towards the great freedom fighter of India,” said Monika Chaudhary, national media convenor, ABVP.
ABVP will make students aware of this “negative mindset” of NSUI and its parent organisation, she said.
“In the context of this deplorable act, ABVP urges the administration to take stern action against those involved in insulting the statue of the freedom fighter,” Chaudhary said.
The Delhi University Students’ Union president submitted a complaint to Maurice Nagar police station in north police district and demanded the arrest of Lakra, alleging his “criminal action” could affect the law and order situation not only in the national capital but also outside it.
On Thursday, Lakra filed a complaint at Parliament Street Police Station, alleging he received threat calls “in the name of ABVP and RSS” to stop his protest against Savarkar statue.
“Few anti-social elements have clearly mentioned their affiliation to RSS and sympathy towards ex-DUSU president Shakti Singh. It has been a traumatising experience since yesterday. The ABVP members mentioned should be held responsible for any mishap and harm caused to me,” he said in the complaint.
Police confirmed that they have received the complaint and are looking into the matter.
Sources said DU Proctor Neeta Sehgal issued a show-cause notice to former DUSU president Shakti Singh on Wednesday, demanding an answer within 24 hours on why the bust was installed without permission from the authorities.
Sources close to Singh said he hasn’t received any notice.
Sehgal said, “ABVP has assured us that they will abide by their commitment (to shift the busts). Thereafter, whatever is permitted within our rules and regulations, we will do the needful.”
Asked about the show-cause notice to Singh, she said it is part of the varsity’s rules and regulations and they will do what is needed.
Meanwhile, former health minister of Bihar and Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap Yadav also criticised the ABVP for installing Savarkar’s bust.
“Will teach a lesson of being a traitor to students by putting up a statue of cowards in the universities.
“The Sangh-affiliated organisation at Delhi University has made fun of the heroic sons of the country by installing the statue of British agent Savarkar along with Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose,” he posted on Twitter in Hindi.
On Wednesday, ABVP had said it has instructed its office-bearers in DUSU to shift the busts to the office till the time the university administration grants permission.
Singh’s tenure as DUSU president ended on August 21. The Delhi University Students’ Union polls will be held on 12 September.