Nine individuals, including seven students from Jain (Deemed-to-be) University, have been apprehended by the police for a controversial skit that purportedly contained casteist material.
The skit that was performed by the students at a college festival organised at NIMHANS Convention Centre on February 8, purportedly contained offensive references mocking B R Ambedkar and Dalits, the portion of which was widely shared on social media.
Seven students along with the Dean-Faculty of Management and Director (Admissions), and Programme Coordinator, were arrested by the police on Monday.
Also Read: SP takes on RSS chief after his ‘no caste before God’ comment
According to police, they had filed a case under various sections of IPC and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, following a complaint by officials of the Social Welfare Department, Bengaluru South, based on which the arrests were made.
They said the arrested were produced before the Magistrate, who has remanded them to three days’ police custody. According to sources, the students have told police that they had no intent to insult Ambedkar or anyone, and never thought the skit would land them in trouble.
The university suspended the students and has tendered an unconditional apology for the skit.
“On 08.02.2023, some students belonging to Jain University enacted a skit during the college festival. The transcript of the skit enacted reveals that the skit deals with ending discrimination in the society and bringing equality without being affected by caste, creed, sex or religion of individuals,” the Registrar of the University said in a statement.
Also Read: RSS chief champions equality of all, dignity of labour; says priests created castes
It said, although, the intention seems to convey the said message, certain specific words used in the skit have resulted in fractions of the society taking exceptions to the contents of the same and it has led to public outcry and also disturbance in the society.
Further stating that the institution on coming to know about the incident has made internal enquiries and taken necessary disciplinary action in this regard, the statement said, the Jain University and all its centres, which come under its umbrella, have always been known for their secular policies and the institution does not prescribe any of the views taken in the offending skit performed by the students.
“The university is concerned that certain fractions of the society have been hurt by the offending skit performed by the students,” it said, adding that certain words used against Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar are strongly condemned and the university on its part totally opposes such comments.
Jain University has highest regards for the “Father of the Constitution” and shall uphold the same to eternity, it said, adding that “Jain University hereby offers its unconditional apology to all who have been hurt by the skit performed by the students.”
(With agency inputs)