Dean resigns over attack

Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: The Dean of the faculty of Fine Arts at the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, Deepak Kannal, has resigned in protest against the alleged attack by the saffron brigade, on his former Deputy Shivaji Panikkar here on Friday.

Mr. Kannal was mediating between the agitating students, teachers of the Fine Arts faculty and the University authorities over the demand for action against local BJP leader Niraj Jain who had allegedly led a group of hooligans and ransacked the faculty hall on May 9 claiming that some of the paintings on “public display” hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus.

Mr. Panikkar who was holding charge of the Dean’s office during the incident stood by the students and agitating teachers, for which the university Vice-Chancellor, Manoj Soni, suspended him.

Demands not met

When the University reopened after the summer vacation, he demanded that University authorities lodge a police complaint against Mr. Jain and his supporters for intruding into the University premises without permission and ransacking the faculty hall.

The University authorities, so far have not taken any steps to meet the demands but the attack on Mr. Panikkar in Ahmedabad has proved to be a shot in the arms for the agitating students and teachers of the Fine Arts faculty with other unions of teachers and students joining the agitation.

The Baroda University teachers’ Association, MSU Employees Mazdoor Sabha and other unions condemned the attack on Mr Panikkar and have threatened to join the agitation if no solution was found at the earliest.


The increasing support to the agitation also forced the University authorities to condemn the attack on Mr. Panikkar. The University Registrar, A.V. Gupta, said the University had offered Mr. Panikkar all the help he needed in the situation.

The Fine Arts faculty students and teachers have also send a memorandum to the Governor, Nawal Kishore Sharma, Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, the University Grants Commission, the NHRC, and others demanding a judicial inquiry .

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