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MSU syndicate rejects student’s appeal to reconsider rustication

The MSU Syndicate rejected Kundan Kumar Mahato’s “appeal” to reconsider the decision to expel him due to a controversy surrounding his artwork on May 5. Kundan Kumar Mahato is a Master of Visual Arts student from the Faculty of Fine Arts.

In accordance with the guidelines of the MSU Act, Kundan had appealed the judgement before the Vice-Chancellor.

The MSU Syndicate convened on Tuesday and opted to reject Kundan’s appeal, affirming the decision made on May 13 to rusticate the Bihar native. While Registrar Krishnakumar Chudasma was unavailable and Vice-Chancellor VK Shrivastava declined to comment, a syndicate member said that the decision was “unanimous.”

“The appeal before the university was to rethink its judgement in accordance with the requirements of the regulations of the MSU Act since the procedure to rusticate a student as put out by the rule book was not followed in this case,” said Kundan’s attorney Hitesh Gupta. Kundan was not even allowed a hearing, so justice has been denied to him. We will request remedy from the High Court.

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On June 29, the university generated an examination hall ticket terming him as “eligible” but he was prohibited from attending the physical examination for the Philosophy of Art-II paper.

First-year student Kundan, majoring in sculpture at the Master of Visual Arts programme, has received support from noted artist and former faculty member Jyotindra Bhatt (Jyoti), who wrote to the Vice-Chancellor saying that he was “painted” by the events and that Kundan’s work is “neither obscene nor disrespectful.”

According to a complaint made by Jaswantsinh Raulji, a second-year student at the Faculty of Arts (on a different campus), Mahato was arrested by the Sayajigunj police on May 9 for allegedly creating artwork with “objectionable” depictions of deities. Right-wing organisations objected, claiming it “hurt religious emotions,” and on May 5 there were fights on campus.

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