MANGALURU: St Aloysius College's decision to name a park after tribal activist Father Stan Swamy has not down well with Hindu right wing outfits like VHP, Bajrang Dal and ABVP and they have vowed not to allow it to happen at 'any cost'.
The park is located in the college's Beeri campus on the outskirts of Mangaluru city and initially the management had decided to hold the naming ceremony today (October 7). However, the management postponed it in view of President of India Ramanath Kovind's two-day visit to city starting today.
Meanwhile, a stream of VHP, Bajrang Dal and ABVP leaders who held a press meet in city on Wednesday, vehemently opposed the decision of the college management to name the park after Father Swamy. VHP leader Sharan Pumpwell said that Swamy was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and was facing serious allegations like 'terrorism' and 'naxalism' for his alleged role in Bhima Koregoan violence. “It is highly condemnable and an insult to the social system to name a park after such a person,” he said.
Further, he said that an old institution like St Aloysius College which has contributed immensely to the field of education naming a park after a person like Stan Swamy is akin to it indirectly challenging the national unity and such a development has 'shocked the education lovers and peace loving people'.
He said if the college management goes ahead with the naming ceremony then they will not allow it to take place and will stage a protest infront of the college campus. The college will be responsible if any untoward incident takes place. He said they have already conveyed their opposition to the college management and will also petition the Deputy Commissioner.
ABVP state secretary Manikanta said instead of Stan Swamy the college management can name it after noted personalities like former union minister Oscar Fernandes or George Fernandes who have contributed immensely to the country. To a query, he said they have no problem if Stan Swamy's name is kept for the park after he is cleared of all charges.
When contacted, college rector Fr. Melwin Pinto said: “We will go ahead with it and we will not budge for such threats because in their own words they have said that Father Stan Swamy is an accused and nothing has been proven against him. Then what stops us from doing it,” he said. He said they have postponed today's event as they did not want to trouble police when they are busy with President's visit and the alternate date of inauguration will be fixed soon.