BENGALURU: Students of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology accused a group of politically charged people, led by BJP MLA from Yelahanka SR Vishwanath of heckling and verbally abusing students about their dressing style, and even calling it ‘anti-Indian’. Vishwanath is also Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s political secretary.
In a statement, the students on Wednesday said that the group stormed their campus gate in Yelahanka, picked up students’ vehicles from outside the gate, and threatened to take them to the police station.
The students alleged that on Tuesday, the group had threatened them with physical violence. Threats were also issued on their safety.
Following this, the gang “made comments such as -- look at the clothes they wear, we cannot bear to see people in such clothing. Do they dress this way when their parents are around too?”
To avert putting students in danger, the administration announced that the institute would remain closed till Friday, till the situation cooled down. Students were asked to abide by the dress code of the school, and avoid breaking laws on smoking in public, among other instructions.
Students also accused the BJP MLA of making provocative statements like, “If we wanted to be aggressive, we could have, and they would not have withstood us.”
Vishwanath was not available for comment, despite several attempts to contact him.
The students also called out the attack on art in the city as a sign of protest.
“A group of men complained about their sentiments being hurt because of a certain piece of public art and they painted over the said controversial artwork and other street art in saffron. The censoring and saffronisation of street art have happened all across the city on this day,” students remarked.
The back story
On Tuesday, a group of men allegedly barged into the Srishti campus, while defacing graffiti outside the wall of the school, captioned ‘Sab Changa Si’.
Earlier that day, Church Street, where graffiti fills the walls, witnessed much brouhaha over anti-CAA/NRC slogans.
Graffiti were slathered with a coat of saffron paint by alleged Hindutva forum. Amid this, police also filed a case against those who spray-painted anti-CAA slogans.