The National Film Archives of India (NFIA) on Wednesday evening witnessed a ruckus as a group ABVP activists allegedly thrashed students of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) for inviting the Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) artistes for a performance. The programme was to pay homage to the slain anti-superstition activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar. The incident took place despite a police bandobast for the programme.
FTII students said the ABVP opposed KKM artistes claiming they have Naxal links. ABVP members however claimed that FTII students attacked their activists first. Four FTII students were reportedly injured in the incident. The ABVP said two of its activists too were injured.
According to injured FTII students the incident took place at 9 pm and the police were present at the spot. But they did not come to help. Both FTTI students and ABVP activists were preparing to file complaints. Senior Police Inspector Manohar Joshi of Deccan police station said he will be look into the matter.
An injured FTTI student, Ajayan Adat, said, “We had organised a programme to pay homage to Dr Dabholkar. As part of it, we had screened a documentary film Jai Bhim Comrade by Anand Patwardhan at NFIA. It was followed by an interaction with Patwardhan and a performance by KKM artistes.”
“We didn’t know ABVP persons were around. After the programme was over, they questioned us for inviting KKM. They claimed that KKM artistes are Naxals. As the argument heated up, we asked the KKM artistes and their supporters to leave. But the ABVP persons shouted slogans “ABVP Zindabad” and “Naxalwadi Bhag Jao” and then attacked us. One of our students, Shriram Raja suffered head injury. We all have come to the Joshi Hospital for treatment. The attackers were carrying ABVP flags,” said Adat.
Vivekanand Ujalambkar, ABVP Pune unit secretary said, “Some of our activists had gone to NFAI to watch the programme. After the programme, our activists heard a youth at the spot saying that he was proud to be a Naxal. This led to an argument. Our activists questioned the FTII students. But they started beating up our activists. Two of our activists were injured. One is being treated at Prayag Hospital.”