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Police officer removed after ruckus over ‘plastic cow’ artwork

The plastic cow installation that was brought down by police atthe Jaipur Art Summit on Saturday. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras

The plastic cow installation that was brought down by police atthe Jaipur Art Summit on Saturday. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras  

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Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje also condemned the incident.

A day after two artists were manhandled by the police here over the installation of an art work that showed a plastic cow tied suspended via a balloon, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, on Sunday, expressed regret over the incident and stated that the police officer responsible for the incident had been removed.

“I am saddened by the incident that took place at [the Jawahar Kala Kendra] JKK yesterday,” Ms. Raje tweeted on Sunday and added that the Police Commissioner had extended an apology for the incident.

On Saturday, the inaugural day of the Third Jaipur Art Summit at JKK, an art work by artist Siddharth Kararwal was displayed which exhibited a plastic cow which was tied to a balloon and was floating at a height of 50 feet from the ground.

Within half an hour of the display, the police the Bajaj Nagar police station area entered the Art Summit and asked the artists to dismantle the installation.

Station House Officer (SHO) of the Bajaj Nagar police station Mahendra Gupta said that the art work hurt the sentiments and sensibilities of some people.

Amidst the arguments between the artists at JKK and the police, artists Anish Ahluwalia and Chintan Upadhyay from the Sandarbh International Artist Residency, were shoved into the police vehicles and were taken to the Bajaj Nagar police station where they were kept for about three hours and were released only after the art work was dismantled.

On Sunday, Mr. Gupta was removed from the Bajaj Nagar police station, about which Ms. Raje mentioned in a separate tweet.

VHP shows concern

A few right-wing organisations and NGOs had vehemently objected to the plastic cow installation in the art summit.

Following which the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) held a meeting on Sunday and issued a statement for protection of cows.

The regional head of the VHP here Narpat Singh Shekhawat, in the statement released to the media, mentioned that instead of creating controversies over cow, they must be taken care of.

“Our concerns about the cow must be about its fodder, its health and making sure that it doesn’t consume garbage and plastic,” Mr. Shekhawat mentioned.

While Mr. Shekhawat ridiculed the act of manhandling artists over the plastic cow controversy, he also stated that the artists must present their ideas only after calculating the possible consequences.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 5:33:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/police-officer-removed-after-ruckus-over-plastic-cow-art-work/article7905717.ece

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