A student of MS University’s Faculty of Fine Arts has been booked by the Sayajigunj police in Vadodara for allegedly creating “objectionable” pictures of Gods and Goddesses that led to the riot on the campus on May 5.
Kundan Yadav, a Bihar native and a student of the sculpture department at the Vadodara university, was booked after Jaswantsinh Raulji, another second-year student from the same faculty, filed an FIR at the Sayajigunj police station Monday accusing him of creating “artwork of newspaper cutouts in the shape of Goddesses”.
The clippings were of different newspapers reporting about crime against women, particularly rape, which created a controversy when right-wing groups protested and termed it as “hurting religious sentiments”.
In his complaint, Raulji has said that on learning about the said artworks, he had allegedly complained to Dr Jayant Poduval, Dean of the Faculty, and requested him to remove the “controversial work” from evaluation and the annual show that was to follow.
In his complaint, he stated that the faculty and the dean “paid no heed to his complaint and instead, laughed off the matter”. He then approached fellow college mates to take up the issue as the artworks were “disrespectful” to the religion. Raulji has named the leaders of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), whom he had approached for help in the matter.
“We then approached the Vice-Chancellor of the university, and based on our complaint, a fact-finding committee was formed. The university also assured us that they would also submit a police complaint in the matter… Meanwhile, on investigating further, we learnt that a student of the Sculpture Department, Kundan Yadav had created these controversial artworks and another, including the Ashoka Stambh, in an obscene artwork. We confronted Kundan Yadav and he told us that he would continue to make such artworks and display them in public. Therefore, the student has willfully created such artworks to hurt religious sentiments and with the intention of disrespecting the religion,” Raulji said.
Yadav has been booked under the Indian Penal Code sections for deliberate and malicious acts, intending to outrage religious feelings [295(A)] and uttering words, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person (298).
The FIR comes a day after the Vadodara city police booked a total of 33 persons, including 31 ABVP leaders, in two separate FIRs for rioting and attacking police officers during the protest Thursday and Saturday last week.