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Artists, writers condemn attack on student

Staff Reporter

He was held for displaying art works branded `obscene' by right wing activists

MUMBAI: The artist fraternity gathered here on Thursday to condemn the attack on and arrest of art student Chandra Mohan on the M.S. University premises in Vadodara.

The post-graduate student of Fine Arts was held for displaying his "obscene" works at the varsity's annual exhibition The right wing activists, who alleged that the works were obscene, attacked him.

Call for security

The artists' meeting was held at the Chemould Art Gallery in south Mumbai. Literary personalities also attended it and addressed issues behind the arrest of Mr. Mohan. Keku Gandhi, Ranjit Hoskote, Sharayu Joshi condemned it as an "attack on democracy" and pressed for better security for students.

Tushar Joag, who was present at the University when the incident happened, told The Hindu , "First around 10 people must have entered and they were speaking loudly. They almost took charge of the situation and then many more entered. The police were not letting the students enter but these guys were roaming freely. There is no doubt that this was done in connivance with the police. Moreover, the police did not register an FIR, which the students wanted to file against the attackers."

Sree Goswami, who runs a gallery in Mumbai, was also present when Mr. Mohan was arrested.

She said, "Everyone was just watching and no one could do anything when the police led him away. We heard screams and shouts and some students tried to help him but they were beaten up too. Everyone felt helpless. But we should do something now in terms of legal help to get him out. He has been booked under non-bailable sections."

Arrested

Mr. Mohan has been arrested for offences punishable under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and Section 114 (abettor present when offence is committed).

The arrest was made following a complaint by the general secretary of the city unit of the BJP, Niraj Jain, against Mr. Mohan with the Sayajiganj police station.

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