On Sunday, February 19, clashes erupted between 2 student groups at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) alleged that the members of Left student organizations allegedly vandalized Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s portrait in the office of the student union on the occasion of his birth anniversary at the university. Reportedly, over a half-dozen, ABVP students were injured in the incident.
ABVP also tweeted images of the vandalized portrait. The group condemned the incident and sought strict punishment against the offenders.
In a tweet posted on Sunday, ABVP paid tributes to Veer Shivaji but Maoists vandalized the picture which was installed by the students. ABVP condemned the act of vandalism of Veer Shivaji’s photos by Anti-national elements and also the constant vandalism by the left.
ABVP had paid tributes to Veer Shivaji today in Teflas,JNU. Maoists have vandalised the picture which was installed by students to pay respect in honour of our ideal. We condemn act of vandalism of photos veer Shivaji by Anti national elements & also d constant vandalism by left pic.twitter.com/nL13vbXft7
— ABVP JNU (@abvpjnu) February 19, 2023
Hindi media outlet Navbharat Times quoted students of ABVP as saying that the leftist students while vandalizing the portrait, stated angrily that chanting ‘Shivaji-Shivaji will not work in JNU’. The ABVP has also accused the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) of defiling images of Savitribai Phule and Maharana Pratap, along with that of Shivaji Maharaj.
ABVP JNU Secretary Umesh Chandra Ajmera said, “Today is the birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. We had put up a portrait of Shivaji Maharaj on the walls outside the student activity center as a tribute. But the ‘communists’ of JNU couldn’t digest this. People from ‘100 Flowers Group’ and SFI came and vandalized the portrait of Shivaji Maharaj.”
Ajmera went on to say that individuals who were involved in the ransacking were “illegal laborers” (outsiders) who had illegally entered the college premises.
Meanwhile, Kumar Ashutosh, Social media convenor, ABVP JNU said, “ABVP members kept Shivaji’s portrait at the JNUSU office. The leftists came there & removed all portraits and threw the garland in the dustbin and then a fight broke out. 5-6 ABVP members were also injured during this.”
“We demand the JNU administration and Delhi Police take strict action against them and also demand to name the JNUSU office to be named after Shivaji Maharaj,” he added.
ABVP members kept Shivaji's portrait at the JNUSU office. The leftists came there & removed all portraits and threw the garland in the dustbin and then a fight broke out. 5-6 ABVP members were also injured during this: Kumar Ashutosh, Social media convenor, ABVP JNU pic.twitter.com/Ej8wXUUKEv
— ANI (@ANI) February 20, 2023
“ABVP members kept Shivaji’s portrait at JNUSU office for which permission from JNUSU delegation was needed. Despite that, they did it illegally. Other students came there & removed all portraits for screening program due to which fight broke out between two groups,” said the general secretary of the Congress student wing the National Students Union of India (NSUI).
ABVP members kept Shivaji's portrait at JNUSU office for which permission from JNUSU delegation was needed. Despite that, they did it illegally. Other students came there & removed all portraits for screening programme due to which fight broke out b/w two groups:JNU NSUI Gen Secy pic.twitter.com/TXdJYSlTMH
— ANI (@ANI) February 19, 2023
Notably, this is not the first time a ruckus has erupted between the two factions at Jawahar Lal University in the national capital. Last year, on April 10, the members of Leftist organizations at Jawahar Lal University allegedly attacked the residents of Kaveri Hostel who were celebrating Ram Navami.
According to Left organizations, the members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, had a scuffle with the mess manager as non-vegetarian food was being served on the day of Ram Navami.
On the other hand, ABVP accused Left student organizations and the National Students Union of India (NSUI) of stopping them from doing Hawan and Puja on Ram Navami.