Painting row: Student in jail, Dean suspended -

Late Friday night (May 11), the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, S
Panikkar, was suspended after he expressed his support for
Chandramohan - the student who had been arrested after his paintings
were attacked by VHP activists for allegedly being obscene.
Chandramohan is still in jail and his bail hearing has been postponed.

Vice Chancellor Manoj Soni decided to suspend Shivaji Panikar from all
positions with immediate effect for three months and a notice
conveying his suspension was pasted at his residence midnight last
night, Pro Vice Chancellor S M Joshi announced today.

Panikkar was directed not to enter the campus without the permission
of University Registrar or Registrar (In charge) unless he notifies
them in writting during suspension. G C Maheshwari, dean of the M S
Patel Institute of Management Studies, has been asked to take
responsibility of fine arts faculity for the time being, Joshi said.

Panikkar, who was out of the town, termed his suspension "illegal and
condemnable". He said he would fight his suspension legally. Human
creativity and expression will stand above M S university authorities'
"shaky and indevisive" position, he said. Speaking to TIMES NOW,
Panikkar charged the Vice Chancellor with being a stooge to the Sangh
Pariwar being an RSS man himself.

The exhibit that inflamed some Christian priests
Controversy had broken out when VHP and BJP workers barged into the
Fine Arts faculty and vandalised art exhibits of gods and goddesses
displayed by post-graduate student Chandra Mohan inside the faculty
earlier this week. The student had displayed his paintings for
critical evaluation by his teachers for an internal assessment.

VHP and BJP activists stormed into the exhibition hall of the faculty
and not only vandalized Chandramohan's paintings but also beat him up,
charging him with negative portrayal of Hindu deities.