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Congress ‘purifies’ Assam college hosting RSS training camp

Some 100 members of Congress and NSUI sprinkled milk and lit lamps at the gate of a college to “rid it of communal germs”.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2017 22:28 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Congress-BJP rivalry,Congress,RSS
The Mariani College where Congress members performed a “purification” ceremony on Saturday.(HT photo)

Guwahati:

The Congress and its students’ wing “purified” on Saturday a college in Assam’s Jorhat district that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is using for a training camp.

In a ritual usually associated with radical Hindu groups, some 100 members of Congress and National Students’ Union of India sprinkled milk and lit lamps at the gate of Mariani College in Mariani to “rid the school of communal germs”.

The Jorhat district administration had a few days ago allowed the district unit of RSS to use the campus of the government-run college for its nine-day training camp from July 20. “Permission was granted because it is summer vacation time for the college,” a district official said.

According to the RSS, about 180 youth from the district are attending the camp .

The camp ran into trouble when Rupjyoti Kurmi, the local Congress MLA and his supporters protested outside the college.

“By allowing the RSS, the BJP’s guide, access to a college is an attempt by the government to communalise education. This is dangerous for a multicultural and multi-ethnic state like Assam,” Kurmi told HT.

College principal Haren Saikia said it would be wrong to say any member of the college had an agenda. “The RSS did give me an application seeking permission for the camp, but I forwarded it to the district administration, which took the decision,” he said.

Dulen Nayak, general secretary of the BJP’s cell catering to tea plantation workers, said: “The participants of the camp are being educated on character-building, nation-building ... I fail to understand why anyone should object to such an apolitical camp.”

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 22:27 IST