Clashes at Gorakhpur Varsity as ABVP Calls DJ at College Fest 'Porn Star'

ABVP members arrived at Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology to submit a memorandum against the college fest hosting DJ Zabylla, whose show they claimed was 'obscene'.

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Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh): Half a dozen people were injured in a clash at a Gorakhpur university after activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad allegedly stormed the campus claiming that an Indonesian DJ who performed at the college fest was “obscene” and a “porn star.”

ABVP has filed a police complaint against three, including two teachers of the university, accusing them of attempt to murder, assault and rioting. The university has also filed a complaint against ABVP activists.

Gorakhpur’s Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology (MMMUT) had invited Indonesian DJ, Zabylla, to perform at the annual cultural event of the varsity, ‘Tech Srijan 2022’. Various academic and cultural programmes were also part of the annual fest. 

This year, the event was scheduled from May 14 to May 16. Zabylla’s performance was on day one, May 14.

A poster on the performance by Zabylla. Photo: Tech Srijan’s Facebook page

After the show, ABVP’s Gorakhpur unit called her performance “obscene” and alleged that the organisers had invited “a porn star” to the fest.

Thirty to 35 ABVP workers reached the university on May 19 and clashed with university students near the administrative building. Students on both sides were injured in the fight.

The ABVP has alleged that one of its activists, Suyash Pandey, suffered head injuries in an alleged attack by the university students. Additionally, ABVP has claimed that its members Ravi Goswami, Prashant Mani Tripathi and Sagar Kasera suffered grave injuries and one Prashant Tripathi’s mobile was also allegedly snatched.

Tripathi, the metropolitan general secretary of ABVP, filed a complaint at the Cantonment police station against the president of the varsity’s Council of Student Activity, professor B.K. Pandey, along with public relations officer Dr. Abhijit Mishra, former student Ashutosh Singh Bala and unknown persons. Tripathi has accused them of attempted murder, assault, rioting, robbery and kidnapping.

In the complaint, Tripathi has alleged, “A porn star was invited to perform on the evening of May 14 by the university student council. However, when ABVP activists went to submit a memorandum on May 19 to protest against the show, Prof. BK Pandey and Dr. Abhijit Mishra called more than 300 students to gather outside the administrative building by spreading rumours in a pre-planned manner and instigated them to attack us.” 

Speaking to The Wire, ABVP national executive member Navneet Sharma alleged that Zabylla’s gig at the event did not “befit the dignity of the tech university” and that an educational institution should not be hosting such a programme.

“There was rioting and ruckus during the show. When we came to know about the programme on May 16, we decided to submit a memorandum against it. The activists who came to submit the memorandum were attacked by students, who were instigated by the teachers,” Sharma said.

Students on stage at MMMUT’s Tech Srijan. Photo: Tech Srijan’s Facebook page

When asked if there were indeed any “obscene acts” – as alleged in the complaint – in the event, he said that the artiste who was invited to perform was “obscene” and added that he did not have any video footage of the event.

Terming the ABVP’s allegations as baseless and an attempt to defame the varsity, Vice-Chancellor J.P. Pandey told The Wire that ABVP activists stormed the campus without any prior notice to submit the memorandum and started raising slogans in an aggressive manner. “College authorities tried to pacify the protesters, invited them to discuss the matter and told them that their allegations were not true,” he added.

Pandey alleged that the ABVP activists misbehaved with the teachers, which angered the varsity students.

“Shubham Chaurasia, a final year student of the university, suffered grave injuries in the clash,” Pandey said.

Also read: ‘Vemula, Dabholkar, Kalburgi’: Goa ABVP Threatens Action Against ‘Anti-Religious’ Lectures

He added that the university students were hurt by the behaviour and allegations of ABVP workers. “They were somehow pacified by the administration otherwise the situation could have worsened,” he said.

The V-C also said that the Student Activities Council includes both students and teachers. “The entire programme was organised by the council and there was no obscenity in it,” he said.

Nonetheless, the Council has been asked to submit a report, Pandey said. In addition, a committee of four teachers have been directed to submit a report after investigating the complaints of the ABVP about the event. This committee will also submit a report on the incident of May 19. 

Pandey has also written a letter to the District Magistrate requesting him to nominate an administrative officer and a police officer to the committee so that a fair investigation can be conducted.

The V-C also said that the university, too, has lodged a complaint at the Cantonment police station.