Legal Rights Observatory has demanded that all Christian idols be removed from government campuses in Meghalaya following the removal of the idol of Lord Ganesha in NIT Meghalaya to ‘uphold the principles of secularism’.
In a Facebook post addressed to the relevant authorities in Meghalaya, the organization requested them to “Immediately order inspection and removal of all Christian religious symbols and idols from all government offices from all over Meghalaya” and “Immediately remove all permanent statues and busts of religious figures from government campuses”. It also demanded that FIRs be registered against government officers who refuse to comply with the order.
Furthermore, LRO demanded that an FIR be registered against Jaintia Students Union for giving communal colour to the matter of installation of the Lord Ganesha idol. It also demanded that the role of Church leaders in instigating the students should be investigated.
LRO stated, “These students unions have already ruined the work culture and religious harmony in the state of Meghalaya; it’s high time to curb them using immense power which Indian Constitution has bestowed on civil and police machinery. Unnecessary and illegal pampering of these students union by the state’s civil and police machinery has helped them to rein terror on the streets.”
“Hope, state’s highest civil and police officials will do the needful regarding our demands mentioned here. Failure to do so, We will seek Union Home Ministry’s intervention in the issue to uphold secular principles in Meghalaya,” it concluded.
Earlier, an idol of Lord Ganesha which was installed at the entrance to the director’s office of the Shillong-based institute on September 23 was removed owing to pressure from the student union. Authorities at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Meghalaya decided to remove the idol, which was installed only a week ago, as the local student body believed that it might lead to ‘communal’ tensions in the Christian majority state.