Protests erupt at Bangalore University against temple construction

The issue took a serious turn when the university officials filed a police complaint against the protesting students.

Bengaluru: The students of Bangalore University (BU) have alleged that the ruling BJP government was trying to saffronise the university campus by allowing the construction of a Ganesha temple inside the campus.

The students have been staging protests for the past three days against the construction.

The issue took a serious turn when the university officials filed a police complaint against the protesting students.

Dr Jayakara Shetty, Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University has stated that the decision to construct the temple was not taken during his tenure. “The decision was made earlier and the construction work has begun now. The students can’t protest about the matter of the temple,” he said.

Shetty had directed to stop the construction work of the temple in the backdrop of protests by students. However, when the construction work continued, he visited the spot and got the work stopped.

The students and organisations, including Naija Horatagaarara Vedike, Post-Graduation and Research Students’ Federation, have warned the university officers that if they continued with the construction of the temple they would file a police complaint against them. The student organisations have also been enraged with the filing of a police complaint against them for attempting to preserve the property of the university.

The agitating students allege that it was an attempt to saffronise the campus and implement a “hidden agenda” by ruling BJP. The students said the UGC guidelines and law did not permit the construction of places of religious worship like temple, church and mosque.

The university officers said the Ganesha temple, which was there near the entrance, was demolished for road widening a few years ago. The Bangalore University had then come into an agreement with the BBMP to shift the temple into the premises of the campus.

Sources in the Higher Education department stated that the temple would be built at any cost in the campus and the protests were a part of a conspiracy of the opposition parties and anti-Hindu forces. However, hundreds of students were openly challenging that they will not allow the temple to come up on the campus.

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