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Posted at: Nov 15, 2019, 6:42 AM; last updated: Nov 15, 2019, 6:42 AM (IST)

Vivekananda statue defaced at JNU, varsity to file complaint

Vivekananda statue defaced at JNU, varsity to file complaint
Teachers and students of various universities protest the New Education Policy in New Delhi on Thursday. Manas Ranjan Bhui

New Delhi, November 14

Objectionable messages, mostly directed towards right-wing outfits, were found written on the pedestal of a yet to be unveiled statue of Swami Vivekananda on the JNU campus on Thursday.

The statue, which is covered in a saffron-coloured cloth, is located at the university's administrative block, where students are protesting the increase in hostel fee, even though the administration announced a partial rollback of the hike on Wednesday.

JNU Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar said a complaint will be filed against those behind "vandalising" the statue. “For all of us, Swami Vivekananda is a great icon and philosopher. I think every Indian respects him. Vandalising his statue is the most the uncivilised behaviour I can think of,” the Vice Chancellor said.

The administration is in the process of identifying the culprits and will file a complaint, Kumar said, adding strict action will be taken.

"Disrespecting Vivekananda in our university by some miscreants is not at all acceptable," he said in a tweet.

The incident, which came to light after a video of the messages at the statue's base went viral, triggered a blame game between the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Left-backed JNU Students' Union (JNUSU).

"The acts of vandalism are a conspiracy to defame the university and its democratic culture by right wing forces.

"The Vice Chancellor, the ruling regime and their lackeys on campus, which is the ABVP, want to divert the issue from the fee hike to pointless and polarising debates," JNUSU members said in a statement. The union denied any involvement in the matter. — PTI

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