Monday, 16 July, 2007
GUJARAT GOVERNER APPOINTS AFACT FINDING COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE MS UNIVERSITY INCIDENTGandhinagar: Dt 12-7-2007: Thursday: As the first step towards resolving the crisis prevailing in the MS University, Vadodara following the incidents of alleged attack upon its fine arts faculty by so-called ‘moral police’ on May 9th 2007 and the subsequent developments, Gujarat Governeor Shri Nawal Kishore Sharma as the Visitor of Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara has appointed a three members committee to find out the facts relating to the incidents.The Committee consisting of Prof. Y.K. Alagh, Chairman IRMA as its convenor and Prof Sudarshan Iyengar, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Vidyapith and Shri Hakubhai Shah, eminent artist and art critic as members would carry out detailed examination of facts, the role and behaviour of different functionaries and authorities of the MSU and suggest measure for amicable solution of the existing crisis and long term measures to prevent such incidents from re-occuring in future, the committee is expected to submit its report at theearliest preferably within three weeks.It is to be recalled that the incident in question occurred at t Fine Arts Students work display during their annual examination on May 9th, 2007. A so called ‘moral police’ group reportedly led by Shri Niraj Jain protested against certain artworks as hurting the sentiments of faith and decency of the society. In the process, in-charge dean, other staff members and students were allegedly abused and threatened and final year student Shri Chandra Mohan and Shri Venkat Rao were arrested. Five exhibits were also removed and sealed as reportedly asked by Police. Prof Shivaji Panikkar, in-charge Dean of the faculty was suspended without framing charges or following procuedure on May 10th, 2007 and stopped from entering into the University.A number of organizations and citizens, artists, University teachers, human right activists and students protesting th incidents approached Gujarat Governor as Visitor of MSU to seek his help to resolve the crisis. On due considerations on the above representations, the Governor found it expedient to first have the facts ascertained before deciding to invke his powers as Visitor of the MS University toinstitute a statuory inquiry into the incidents. The Governor, therefore, has appointed the above Fact Finding Committee which would examine and ascertain among other things the issue of obscenity etc of the artworks in question, the role, conduct and behaviour of different university authorities and officals in handling the situation, action of suspension of the in-charge Dean Prof. Panikkar and related issues in details and submit its repot to the Governor soon.