Portrait of Veer Savarkar defaced at Banaras Hindu University, panel set up to probe incident

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Published: November 20, 2019 12:18:14 PM

The portrait of Veer Savarkar in question was put in room number 103 of the Political Science department at Banaras Hindu University.

A day after a group of students at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) protested against the vandalism of Veer Damodar Savarkar’s portrait, the Political Science department at the varsity has set up a three-member committee to probe the incident.

Tension gripped the university after a photograph of the Hindutva icon was found defaced. The portrait in question was put in room number 103 of the department where photographs of several leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi and BR Ambedkar, adorn the walls. The portrait of Savarkar was taken off the wall in a classroom, blackened with ink and found on the floor, a report in The Indian Express said.

The incident of vandalism came to light when students reached their classroom and found Savarkar’s portrait lying on the ground. The incident triggered a protest by a group of students who demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident. The agitating students withdrew their sit-it after the Dean and Political Science HoD assured action against the perpetrators and promised a new portrait of Savarkar at the same place.

“Around 11 am some students of MA 1st year Political Science found Veer Savarkar’s portrait removed from the wall; it was blackened with what looked like ink or paint and was lying on the floor. The students got agitated and sat on a protest outside the faculty building,” Political Science HoD Ashok Kumar Upadhyay told the daily.

The three-member committee of professors from different departments has been asked to submit the report within 10 days.

VK Pathak, a member of the committee, said that students who are opposed to Savarkar’s ideology could be behind the incident and called it a well-planned act. “There are portraits of Ram Manohar Lohia, Acharya Narendra Dev, Acharya Chanakya, Sardar Patel and B R Ambedkar too on the same wall but they were untouched,” he said.

Meanwhile, heavy deployment of police has been made on the BHU campus to maintain the law and order situation.

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