Savarkar photo taken off, blackened with ink; BHU dept forms probe panel

A group of students staged protests after the vandalism was discovered. (Express Photo)

The Political Science department of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has formed a committee to probe an issue of vandalism after a portrait of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was taken off the wall in a classroom, blackened with ink, and was found on the floor on Monday morning.

A group of students staged protests after the vandalism was discovered. The protesters withdrew their sit-in following intervention of the Dean and Political Science Head of Department (HoD), who assured of action against the guilty.

The framed photograph of Savarkar was put up in room number 103 of the department in Social Science faculty along with other great personalities.

Political Science HoD Ashok Kumar Upadhyay said: “Around 11 am on Monday 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. I assured them that a new photograph will be put up. We have replaced the photo and the students are satisfied.”

Faculty Dean Prof R P Pathak said a three-member committee of professors from different departments have been formed to conduct an inquiry and submit the report within 10 days. The committee comprises Binda Paranjape, J B Komaraiah and V K Pathak, he added.

Calling it a “planned” act, Pathak said, “There are portraits of Ram Manohar Lohia, Acharya Narendra Dev, Acharya Chanakya, Sardar Patel and B R Amberdkar too on the same wall but they were untouched.”

Pathak said, “Prima facie it appears to be handiwork of some students who do not like Savarkar’s ideology.”