Right-wing outfit attacks FTII students over banner decrying Babri Masjid demolition

The banner read (per various reports) either "Babri Demolition, Death of Democracy" or "Remember Babri: Death of Constitution" and had allegedly been put up on 22 January

A banner reading 'Remember Babri: Death of Constitution', with an image of the now demolished mosque, was allegedly put up by students of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune (photo courtesy @BJP4PuneCity/X)
A banner reading 'Remember Babri: Death of Constitution', with an image of the now demolished mosque, was allegedly put up by students of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune (photo courtesy @BJP4PuneCity/X)
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NH Digital

Members of a local right-wing organisation clashed with students of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune on Tuesday, 23 January, over a banner condemning the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid, the PTI reports.

The banner with the words "Babri Demolition, Death of Democracy" was put up by the FTII Students Association (FSA) on the campus on Monday, said deputy commissioner of police Sandip Gill to PTI. (Per an image shared by the Pune city BJP handle, reproduced above, the banner actually read 'Remember Babri, Death of Constitution'.)

The incident took place a day after the grand consecration ceremony of the Ram Lalla idol in Ayodhya's Ram Temple on the site where the Babri Masjid earlier stood.

"A group of 10 persons barged into the institute's campus in the morning. They tore up the banner and clashed with students," the DCP said.

PTI said they were unable to contact either the FTII students' body or the institute's administration for comment, despite repeated attempts.

In a video shared online by Maktoob Media, the activists wearing saffron scarves can be seen burning the torn-down banners with police or security personnel seen in the background, further away.

The Newslaundry reported that three members of the Jan Jagaran Sangathan were arrested for assaulting students on the campus, in addition to other charges, including rioting. At least three students received minor injuries, the report said.

Meanwhile, the ABVP's Pune unit declared on social media that it had submitted a representation to the police, protesting against the 'unconstitutional banner and programme held at FTII today (sic) in support of Babri Masjid'.

The ABVP Pune also put out a press release claiming a poster was put up at FTII, it said, '"supporting Babar's victory, alongside promoting the destruction of the Babri Masjid"...'.

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