Late Wednesday night, around 20 activists of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) led by its state president Akshay Lakra allegedly blackened the bust of V D Savarkar and put a garland of shoes around it. The bust, along with those of Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh, was installed outside the Arts Faculty by outgoing Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) president Shakti Singh from the ABVP.
On Thursday, Singh filed a complaint at Maurice Nagar police station asking for an FIR to be registered against Lakra. Meanwhile, Lakra filed a complaint with DCP (New Delhi), alleging he was receiving “life threatening calls” from people belonging to RSS and ABVP.
In a Facebook post, Singh also threatened to blacken other statues. “Kalikh lagegi to kayi moorityan aayengi jad me, is desh me sirf Savarkar ki moorti thodi na hai. Aagaz aapne kiya, anjaam tak hum pahunchayenge (If statues are blackened, others will also come under target. Savarkar’s is not the only statue in the country. You have started it, we will take it to its logical end),” wrote Singh.
When asked to elaborate on the same, Singh refused to comment. In his FIR, Singh said Lakra was provoking students’ sentiments and creating a potential law and order problem on the campus.
In a purported video of the incident which took place at 2.30 am, Lakra can be seen blackening the bust and putting a garland of shoes around it. Lakra also put a garland of flowers around the busts of Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh.
“How could they put the bust of Savarkar alongside that of Bose and Bhagat Singh. 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,” claimed Lakra.
Even as the ABVP has distanced itself from Singh, they condemned NSUI’s Act. “The humiliation of Veer Savarkar’s statue by the NSUI is a heinous act. Such an act for trivial political interests reflects the Congress’ thinking of the great freedom fighter of India… The ABVP demands… stern action against those who are involved in this…,” said ABVP state secretary Sidharth Yadav.
Lakra, in his complaint, said “stern action” should be taken against “anti-social elements”. He said they were “threatening him via calls in the name of RSS & ABVP”. A police officer said, “The complaint has been received and appropriate action will be taken.”
DU Proctor Neeta Sehgal said she was not aware of the development, adding that she had got assurance from ABVP office-bearers that the bust would be removed. Sources said a showcause notice has also been issued to Singh regarding the same.