The vice chancellor of a university in West Bengal resigned on Friday after a huge controversy erupted over pictures of some young men and women who had objectionable words written on their backs during the varsity’s pre-Holi celebrations, PTI reported.

Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, vice chancellor of the Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, submitted his resignation after the photos went viral on social media. He, however, said that the people seen in the photos were not students of the university.

At the Basanto Utsav organised on the university campus on Thursday, a group of men and women were seen with derogatory words written on their bodies. Another picture showed four women in saris standing side by side, each of them with a word from a line of a Rabindranath Tagore song written on their backs. The original words were, however, replaced with derogatory ones, Hindustan Times reported.

University authorities had on Friday filed a police complaint against the men and women seen in the pictures. “They are all outsiders. This is deplorable,” the vice chancellor had said, according to Hindustan Times “Such a thing never happened in the history of RBU.”

A university official told PTI that the vice chancellor sent his resignation letter to the higher education department head office at Bikash Bhavan and Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday evening.

Condemning the incident, Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said the men and women had crossed the limits of decency. “It is shocking that someone would think about committing such an act in a cultural festival at a place associated with the name of Tagore,” he said. Chatterjee added that he will not accept Chaudhury’s resignation since it was not his responsibility alone.

The photos triggered outrage, with many criticising the young men and women for showing “utter disrespect” to Rabindranath Tagore and Bengali culture. Noted Rabindra Sangeet exponent Sraboni Sen demanded strict punishment for them. “They tarnished the name of Rabindra Bharati and played havoc with the pure and pristine spirit of the icon’s songs,” she said. Linguist Nrisingoprasad Bhaduri said, “We never expected this would happen in the land of Tagore, in the university associated with research on the bard.”