BHU official resigns ‘on students’ demand’ as row over RSS flag flares
A Benares Hindu University official resigned on Wednesday following the furore over the removal of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh flag from the university’s south campus on her orders and the subsequent police case against her.Updated: Nov 14, 2019, 02:44 IST
A Benares Hindu University (BHU) official resigned on Wednesday following the furore over the removal of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh flag from the university’s south campus on her orders and the subsequent police case against her.
The deputy chief proctor of BHU’s Rajiv Gandhi South Campus Barkachha in Mirzapur, Kiran Damle, sent her resignation to south campus professor in-charge Rama Devi Nimmanpalli. Nimmanpalli confirmed that Damle, also the assistant director of sports in BHU, has resigned. “Kiran Damle has resigned from the post of deputy chief proctor. Her resignation has been forwarded to BHU chief proctor O P Rai. The administration will decide if the resignation is to be accepted or rejected,” she said.
On Tuesday, some students, holding a RSS shakha (exercise camp) on campus, alleged that Damle removed their flag on the pretext that it was damaging a track.
Angry students staged a demonstration on the campus and demanded Damle’s resignation for what they said was an insult to the RSS flag. Police had to intervene, asking the students to call off their agitation.
Police said RSS district karyawah Chandramohan filed a complaint against Damle at Dehat Kotwali police station. Station house officer Abhay Kumar Singh confirmed that a case was registered against Damle under section 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings), 153A (promoting enmity), and 504 (intentional Insult with intent to promote breach of peace) of IPC.
Soon after Tuesday’s fracas, Damle defended her action by saying, “We removed the flag and gave it to an employee who put it away safely. Outsiders have misguided and instigated students to demonstrate. I only told the students not to damage the track.”
In response to a question on whether the shakha will continue on campus, Nimmanpalli said: “Ideological independence of the students cannot be curtailed. If some students do it peacefully and don’t disrupt the atmosphere, there is no problem. But action will be taken if anyone tries to breach the peace.”
On Wednesday, Damle said, “They are our students. They demanded my resignation from the post of deputy chief proctor, so I put in my papers.”