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Banner on Babri sparks clash at FTII, Hindutva activists burn banner, FIR against 15.

Author: B Upendran 
Publication: Hinduexistence.org
Date: January 23, 2024
URL:   https://hinduexistence.org/2024/01/24/banner-on-babri-sparks-clash-at-ftii-hindutva-activists-burn-banner-fir-against-15/

Ram Temple Row: Hindutva activists barge into Pune FTII, burn banners decrying Babri demolition.

A student said that the members of a Hindutva group barged into FTII, shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Har Har mahadev’, ‘Shivaji Maharaj ki Jai’, and ‘Hindu Rashtra ki Jai’ although over a dozen security personnel were present there.

A group of activists belonging to some local-right wing organizations led by ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Yuva Sena’ and ‘Samastha Hindu Bandhav’ allegedly barged into Film and Television Institute in Pune and burned down the banner condemning the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid put up by the students, police said.

A clash also broke out between members of Hindutva outfits and students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on Tuesday afternoon over the banner put up by the FTII Students’ Association on the institute premises, which said the Babri masjid demolition was against the Constitution.

The Hindutva activists vehemently protested the ultra-left (urban Naxal) oriented effort of defamation of Ayodhya Ram Temple inauguration in a very maligned way. The Hindutva activists came from the outside of FTII were shouting the slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Har Har mahadev’, ‘Shivaji Maharaj ki Jai’, and ‘Hindu Rashtra ki Jai’.

The banners with the words “Babri Demolition, Death of Democracy” abd “Remember Babri, death of Constitution” were put up by the FTII Students Association (FSA) on the campus on Monday, said deputy commissioner of police Sandip Gill.

Videos circulated on social media showed the men entering the campus shouting “Jai Shri Ram”. They were then seen burning down a banner reading “Remember Babri, death of Constitution” and destroying a board displaying photos to mark the event.

Three including student union president Mankap Nokwoham were injured during the clash. They have been hospitalized.

A student told media that the mob barged in although over a dozen security personnel were present. The student also accused the police of complicity, alleging that they watched students being attacked.

The police said the banner was set on fire by the members of the right-wing Hindutva outfits. After the incident, heavy police deployment was made inside and outside the campus. The police also deployed riot control vans and quick response teams. The Deccan Gymkhana police said the incident took place around 1.30 pm on the FTII campus, which is located on Law College Road in Pune city.

“Preliminary probe has revealed that a banner was displayed on the campus by the FTII Students’ Association. Our information also suggests that screening of a film and an exhibition of photos related to the history of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi issue was also organised on the campus,” said an officer from Deccan Gymkhana police station.

Based on the complaint filed by Sanjay Jadhav (54), a security officer posted at the FTII, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered later in the evening against 12 to 15 persons who had entered the campus. “Investigation has revealed that the members of the group do not belong to one outfit but multiple Hindutva right-wing groups based in Pune. We are in the process of identifying all the persons who were part of the group,” the officer said.

The police have invoked IPC sections pertaining to unlawful assembly, rioting, causing hurt, trespassing, damage to property and criminal intimidation. Pravin Padwal, member of a Hindutva outfit named Samastha Hindu Bandhav, who was part of the group, said, “What FTII students had written on the banner was against India. We were asking them to take down the banner but they did not. So we had to pull it down and burn it.”


- Inputs from Indian Express
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