The door of the chapel inside the premises of St Stephen’s College in Delhi and the cross outside the shrine were found on Friday to have been defaced with inflammatory graffiti, The Hindustan Times reported . The chapel door purportedly had the words “Mandir yahi banega” (the temple will be built here) scribbled on it in black ink, the report said. The cross reportedly had the words “I am going to hell” and an Om symbol on it.
Some students saw the slogans on Friday afternoon and raised an alarm. Students’ Union president Sai Aashirwaad told PTI that the graffiti was cleaned up on Saturday morning.
Senior police officials at Maurice Nagar Police Station told Scroll.in that no complaint has been received in connection with the incident so far.
The National Students’ Union of India has asked for an inquiry into the incident and demanded that peace and safe environment is ensured inside Delhi University. “Both the slogans show the utterly disgusting mentality of the person or persons involved in such defacement of structures inside the college premises,” the NSUI said in a statement.
It added it was a pattern repeated by right-wing elements every year before the new academic year begins and ahead of the Delhi University Students’ Union elections. “They have tried to polarise the student community on the basis of religion and fake nationalism several times but have failed on every attempt,” it added.
Most students have been on preparatory leave since April 28. Only students who have to attend practical exams have had to attend the college since then.
“Mandir wahin banayenge” is a slogan used by Hindutva groups who aim to build a Ram temple on the site of the Babri Masid in Ayodhya that was demolished on December 6, 1992, at the end of a long campaign led by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The act of vandalism triggered nationwide communal riots. The dispute is being heard in the Supreme Court.