Mumbai: Yuva Sena forces principal of Bandra college to apologise to students

Nov 03, 2016, 08:40 IST | Silky Sharma

After issuing show-cause notices to eight students, principal of Government Polytechnic, Bandra has alleged that she was forced to withdraw them after Yuva Sena members barged into her cabin 

Spokesperson for the Yuva Sena Varun Sardesai
Spokesperson for the Yuva Sena Varun Sardesai

After issuing show-cause notices to eight students, who erected a political hoarding outside campus and put the name of the college on it without permission, principal of Government Polytechnic has alleged that she was forced to withdraw them after members of Shiv Sena’s youth wing Yuva Sena barged into her cabin and demanded that she call them back immediately.

The Yuva Sena hoarding outside Government Polytechnic college in Bandra. Pics/Suresh Karkera
The Yuva Sena hoarding outside Government Polytechnic college in Bandra. Pics/Suresh Karkera

The row started after a few students linked to Yuva Sena put up a hoarding of a party outside campus in a bid to approach other pupils for joining the unit. The hoarding featured the college’s name, which led to an irked Swati Deshpande, the principal, to issue the notices to parents of the eight whose names were mentioned on it. mid-day has the names of all the eight, but has decided to not reveal them on request.

Threat tactics?
Students, however, suspect that the notices, issued on October 25, are a tactic to threaten them for being part of a political unit just days before their exams. “We put up the hoarding on September 23. After a month, without even speaking to us, the college issued notices to our parents, saying it will take the matter to the police,” said one student.

Read Story: Students got threat letters from polytechnic principal: Aditya Thackeray

Another whose parents received a notice said, “The college is trying to scare us, it has taken up the issue just a few days before our semester exams.”

The notice sought a quick clarification from the parents before the college took legal action against the students for putting up a hoarding outside the campus and mentioning its name without permission.

Principal’s defence
Speaking to mid-day on students being stressed about their future owing to the notices just before exams, Deshpande said, “The hoarding was set up in my absence and the students did not take permission from the college office for it. It took time for me to investigate that against whom do I need to take action. Also, students don’t need to be afraid of anything. This issue won’t affect their studies.”

“The main reason behind issuing the notices was to make their parents aware that instead of focusing on studies, their wards were getting themselves involved in political activities at a young age,” she added.

The other side
Spokesperson for the Yuva Sena Varun Sardesai told mid-day, “It’s sad that the college dragged students in this. The hoarding was placed outside the campus; we have such hoardings in many other colleges, as a way of asking students to participate. If the college wanted to take action against the use of its name, it should have sent a notice to the party instead of threatening the students.”

Another Yuva Sena member rubbished Deshpande’s claim of investigation taking time for the notices to be issued and alleged that it was the college’s revenge on students for participating in the KG-PG rallies conducted by their president Aaditya Thackeray.

The rally on October 15 saw participation by 250 students from Government Polytechnic. It was to highlight the bad condition of washrooms in the institute.

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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