The JNU administration on Thursday ordered an inquiry into burning of Ravana’s effigy with faces of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and others plastered on it on the occasion of Dussehra, and issued show cause notices to students allegedly involved in the incident.
Meanwhile, the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI), to which the organisers of the event belonged, has said the outfit supported the “intention” behind the protest but not the “method”.
“We have ordered an inquiry into the effigy burning incident and are examining the issue,” said JNU Vice Chancellor Jagadesh Kumar, whose picture was also stuck on the effigy set ablaze on Tuesday night.
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University officials said that show cause notices have been issued to the students allegedly involved in the incident. They have been asked to appear before the Proctor and explain their position in this regard.
The move comes nearly a week after the varsity ordered a proctorial inquiry into burning of effigy of Gujarat government and ‘gaurakshak’ (cow vigilantes) and issued show cause notices to the students concerned.
While Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and heads of several other militant organisations were the faces of Ravana’s effigies burnt on Dussehra across the country, members of NSUI chose the visages of PM and Shah to represent the demon king and burnt the effigy on Tuesday.
They claimed it was to protest against the Centre’s “failure” to honour its promises and the “continuous attacks” on various educational institutions across the country.
While university officials maintained that no permission was sought for the event, the organisers claimed that effigy burning was a “routine” thing on campus and did not require permission from the administration.
NSUI issued a statement saying, “We do not encourage the practice of effigy burning and reject it as a form of protest. However, in between debates on the form of protest, the intention behind it is getting defeated”.
“The protest was a manifestation of the anger boiling up among students. Although this act does not find place in NSUI code of conduct, it is completely democratic,” the statement added.
Besides Modi and Shah, the effigy had faces of Yoga guru Ramdev, Sadhvi Pragya, Nathuram Godse, Asaram Bapu and the Vice-Chancellor. The students also carried placards with slogan, ‘Truth shall prevail over evil’.