The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad-led Delhi University Students’ Union on Saturday said it had removed the busts of VD Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose from the campus after it had created a controversy and triggered protests, PTI reported. The student body claimed that the varsity had assured them that the busts would be reinstalled with due procedure after the student union elections were completed.

“ABVP-led DUSU [Delhi University Student Union] has removed the busts of Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose till permission is obtained from the DU [Delhi University] Administration, ” the student outfit said in its statement. “The busts have been kept [at a] safe [place] by the varsity.” The busts were installed on August 20 by outgoing DUSU President Shakti Singh without permission from the authorities and were taken down in the intervening night of Friday and Saturday.

The ABVP claimed that it had earlier asked DUSU office-bearers to install the statues in accordance with procedure. The students’ body also demanded “stringent legal action” against members of the National Students’ Union of India for allegedly blackening Savarkar’s bust on Thursday.

The right-affiliated students’ body claimed that left-wing student organisations along with Aam Aadmi Party’s Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti and the NSUI had “stooped to a low level”. It alleged that the student bodies were harming the university’s culture of “debate and discussion”.

Meanwhile, students protesting against the installation of the busts were detained by the police on Friday to avoid clashes with another group. Students, however, claimed that different students’ bodies had organised a “peaceful signature campaign” and that the police tore their pamphlets, according to PTI.

Police said some aggressive protestors were detained from outside the Arts Faculty of the university, where the busts had been installed. They were taken to Maurice Nagar police University authorities claimed that they were waiting for the busts to be shifted from outside the Arts Faculty.

ABVP leader and students’ union president Shakti Singh, whose name was mentioned on the pillar as the person who installed it, had earlier said: “We have written to university officials several times asking for permission to set up such a monument – last November, this March, April and again in August – but we got no response. So we decided to go ahead and do it ourselves.” Last week, DUSU had also demanded the students’ union office be renamed after Savarkar.

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