Students, principal among 9 arrested in Bengaluru for remarks about Ambedkar in skit
The development came after Jain University’s Centre for Management Studies suspended six students and tendered an unconditional apology.
The Bengaluru Police on Monday arrested nine persons, including seven students of Jain University’s Centre for Management Studies, for a skit that allegedly made offensive remarks about Bhimrao Ambedkar and Dalits, reported The Indian Express.
The university principal Dr Dinesh Nilkant as well as the organiser of the programme where the skit took place were also arrested.
On February 6, the seven students, part of a group called The Delroys Boys, had performed the skit during a youth festival in the college. Its video was widely shared on social media and drew widespread condemnation from Dalit organisations and activists.
The video shows a man from a lower-caste background trying to date an upper-caste woman. Through the course of the skit, the students used several problematic phrases related to the practice of untouchability and altered BR Ambedkar’s name to “Beer Ambedkar”.
A first information report was registered at the Siddapura police station in Bengaluru based on a complaint by Madhusudhana KN, assistant director of the social welfare department in the city, reported The Indian Express.
The nine persons have been arrested under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and Sections 153A (promoting enmity), 149 (unlawful assembly) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code.
Last week, the university had suspended six students and tendered an unconditional apology as the outrage against the skit grew.
The Delroys Boys had also issued an apology for the skit but added that it had been misinterpreted. “The skit was aimed to bring attention to the challenges faced by the marginalised communities, using humour as a tool to shed light on these hardships,” the group claimed.