The deputy chief proctor of Banaras Hindu University’s south campus in Mirzapur was on Wednesday booked for allegedly removing a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh flag from the campus, reported The Indian Express. Kiran Damle, who resigned from her post on Tuesday after the furore over the incident, has been accused of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and caste.
“Her resignation has been forwarded to BHU chief proctor OP Rai,” south campus professor Rama Devi Nimmanapalli told Hindustan Times. “The administration will decide if the resignation is to be accepted or rejected.”
The alleged incident took place on Tuesday during an RSS camp on the premises. Later, students staged a demonstration and demanded Damle’s resignation for what they claimed to be an insult to the RSS flag. The first information report against Damle was registered based on a complaint by local RSS office-bearer Chandramohan, said Station House Officer, Kotwali Dehat, Abhay Kumar Singh.
“On November 12, the daily Sangh shakha was being held at the stadium on BHU South campus as it has been for the past seven years,” Chandramohan, head of RSS’ Mirzapur district wing, told The Indian Express. “Around 7 am, Kiran Damle uprooted a saffron flag and threw it on the floor. All swayamsevaks present there told her that the flag has importance for religious reasons. After this, Damle verbally abused swayamsevak Neeraj Dwivedi and others present there. She also said that despite the country accepting the Supreme Court’s verdict on Ayodhya, she does not.”
Damle had a different version of the incident. “On Tuesday, when I went to the university playground, I found an orange-coloured flag hoisted there,” she told the daily. “I asked my attendant about who put it there but he said he did not know. I then asked the students present at the playground, nobody replied. After no one took responsibility, I took out the flag, gave it to my attendant and told him to keep it in my office.”
Damle, who is also the assistant director (sports) at BHU, said some students later told her that it was an RSS flag. “I told them that I did not know because nothing was written on it,” she said. “I told them that they could conduct their activities, but should not put the flag as it is a sensitive time. Later in the afternoon, a protest was held at the university demanding my resignation. Most of the protestors were from outside [the university].”
Damle said she even apologised to the students and protestors. “They said an apology won’t be enough and that I should resign,” she recalled. “I told them that if that is what will make you people calm down, I will resign. I gave my resignation Tuesday from the post of deputy chief proctor. Then, some people told me they would also lodge an FIR against me. I was silent because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
On Thursday afternoon, two groups of students from the varsity clashed with each other over what the police said was a trivial matter, according to the Hindustan Times. No injuries were reported, but the cause of the clashes remain unclear.
The students belonged to the Birla and the Lal Bahadur Shastri hostels. The situation was brought under control after Additional District Magistrate (city) Vinay Singh and Superintendent of Police (city) Dinesh Singh reached the university along with police personnel.
Singh said the situation was entirely under control and heavy police deployment was done at the campus. The varsity’s chief proctor said stringent action would be taken against those found guilty.
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