Confusion prevailed on Saturday over the overnight removal of busts of Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose from outside the Arts Faculty of Delhi University”s North Campus.
While the RSS-affiliated ABVP, in a statement, claimed it was removed by Delhi University Students” Union, the student outfit”s member and outgoing president Shakti Singh accused the varsity administration of removing the busts.
A senior functionary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, however, said the outfit wants that the busts should be installed with due permission and with pomp and show and not silently.
“We will install statues of freedom fighters, including Veer Savarkar, across campuses in India but with due permission and letting people know,” the functionary said.
Singh, meanwhile, said, “Late last night, DU removed the idols installed by the students. This is obviously an insult to the martyrs and I am opposed to this. The Delhi University administration is intent on killing the student union here.”
He alleged “some students” in collusion with the administration were behind this move and he will protest against this.
“I wanted to resolve the issue through dialogue but the administration has not left the space for it,” he said.
The ABVP-led Delhi University Students” Union has removed the busts of V D Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose from the campus, the student outfit said in a statement on Saturday morning.
The ABVP, however, claimed the Delhi University has assured them that the busts will be reinstalled in accordance with the procedure after the DUSU polls are concluded on September 12.
The busts of the three freedom fighter were installed on August 20 by Singh without taking permission from the varsity authorities. They were removed on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday around 1.30 am.
“ABVP-led DUSU has removed the busts of Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose till permission is obtained from the DU Administration. The busts have been kept (at a) safe (place) by the varsity,” the RSS-affiliated outfit said in a statement.
Earlier, the ABVP had asked DUSU office-bearers to install the statues as per the procedure, it claimed.
The students” body also demanded “stringent legal action” against members of the Congress-affiliated National Students” Union of India (NSUI) for allegedly blackening Savarkar”s bust on Thursday.
The ABVP claimed the Left-affiliated student organisations along with AAP”s CYSS and the NSUI had “stooped to a low level” and were harming the “the culture of debate and discussion, prevalent in the university”.
“The ABVP strongly believes that the Left, AAP and the student organisations affiliated to the Congress should stop insulting freedom fighters to meet their trivial political interests,” it said.
ABVP Delhi”s state secretary Sidharth Yadav said, “It is very unfortunate that the DU administration turned a deaf ear to DUSU”s demand for installation of busts of freedom fighters, for a very long time. The university should restore these idols, as per their assurances, at the earliest.”
“The manner in which other student organisations have carried out such extremely unfortunate acts reveal the real and degraded mindset of these student organisations towards freedom fighters, the repercussions of which they will face in the times to come,” he added.
“At the same time, the Congress should understand that its ”Kaalikh model” is not going to hide the reality. We have decided to remove the busts because we don”t want to do politics over the name of freedom fighters,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress-affiliated National Students” Union of India said its opposition has led to the removal of the busts from the varsity.
“The principled opposition by the NSUI, natural outrage by students and general public alike have compelled the taking down of the statue. We hope this will serve as a reminder to the ABVP that students will not be misled by their false propaganda. The NSUI will continue raising student issues in Delhi University and nationally, ” the NSUI said.
They claimed the statues were removed after a representation was made by NSUI member and DUSU general secretary Aakash Choudhary to the administration for their removal, the party said.