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DUSU denies pressurising Khalsa College on street play

A day after Khalsa College "postponed" its street play event, allegedly under "pressure" from the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU), the union on Friday denied it gave any threats to the college, and said it did not have any issue with the event.

"I have not given any threats to anyone. It was the principal of the college who had first called me and sought my views on the prevailing situaton. I told them it was their call. I do not have any issues with the plays," DUSU President Amit Tanwar told IANS.

He said that most plays which were scheduled at the college event had even been performed at the 'Madari' festival organised by the union last month, and the rumours that the DUSU forced the cancellation of the event was an attempt to malign the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), to which Tanwar belongs.

In the wake of violence at the Ramjas College here, the Khalsa College decided to postpone its street play festival allegedly for fears of possible attempts at disruption.

During the three-day annual festival of Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, which ends on Saturday, a street play event was planned but was "postponesd till further notice" after allegedly receiving a veiled message from the students union that the college will be responsible if any "objectionable" content was found in plays performed.

"Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) President Amit Tanwar called up the college Principal and told him if anything objectionable was found in the street plays, the college will be responsible for the situation that follows," Shaikat Ghosh, Assistant Professor and convener of the college's Theatre Society, told IANS.

The college Principal in turn called up the organisers who thought it better to postpone the event, he added.

"We even told the police about the 'message' the DUSU (dominated by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad, the students wing of the RSS) sent us. They advised us to take a call on the matter. We decided to cancel the event since police cannot be trusted after their behaviour on February 21 at the Ramjas College... In effect, the event stands cancelled since there's only a day left," Ghosh said.

Jaswinder Singh, Principal of Khalsa College, could not be reached for the comment as his phone was switched off. The Theatre Society also refused to comment on the issue.

Nine teams were to compete in the annual competition.

"It is very unfortunate since students must have practised for months to prepare for these plays. It is more striking also because the very form of street play is geared to criticise the authorities. How can you expect them to keep it (content of plays) docile?" All India Students Association member Naveen told IANS.
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