Several organisations and activists have urged the Dakshina Kannada district administration and the police to take action against Hindutva groups for what they said issuing a threat that they will not allow St. Aloysius College, an autonomous institution, to name a garden on its Kotekar Beeri campus after deceased activist Stan Swamy.

In an open letter, they said that it is criminal intimidation by the Hindutva groups. The district administration and the police should provide adequate protection to the college to ensure that there is no interference in its private affairs.

“We call upon the district administration and the police to take immediate action against these organisations for engaging in criminal intimidation and issuing such threats,” the letter said.

The letter has been endorsed by several organisations including Campaign to Defend Democracy, All India People’s Forum (AIPF), People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Amar Jesani, P. Sainath, Anil Sadagopal, Dunu Roy, Harsh Mander, Kavita Srivatsava, Meera Sanghamitra, Nandini Sundar, Pieter Friedrich and Ram Puniyani.

“The signatories condemn the open threats of violence by groups such as ABVP, VHP and Bajrang Dal against a private autonomous Catholic college in Mangaluru for its decision to name one of its parks after the late Swamy whose death has become symbolic of the systemic oppression of a human rights activist standing with the most marginalised communities,” the letter said.

“They (the groups) have absolutely no right to interfere in the goings-on of a private institution. These organisation have a stated purpose and history for violence, communal divisiveness and subscribe to an idea of our country with scant regard to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. This blatantly illegal behavior is a consequence of the free run that is being given to these organisations in coastal Karnataka,” it said.

“These organisations are imposing social apartheid, interfering in the private affairs of citizens and acting against the Constitutional principle of fraternity by engaging in daily acts of violence and intimidation with impunity. Members of these organisations have engaged in lynching of minorities across the country, conducting riots and engaging in violence to push minorities into second-class citizenship,” it said.

The signatories said that late Swamy was a person who was falsely implicated in cases that are pending against him and subjected to the most inhuman treatment leading to his untimely death. He dedicated his entire life to the uplift of the oppressed sections of society and was targeted precisely for this reason.

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