|A bust of Mahatma Gandhi unveiled by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at the UPNG was removed by students|
A BUST of Mahatma Gandhi recently unveiled at the University of PNG by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has been removed by students who have been boycotting classes in the past two weeks.
A student leader said it was removed to express their frustration over the failure by authorities to hold a referendum on the boycotting of classes. The bust was given last month as a gift to the Government by Mukherjee to strengthen bilateral relationship with PNG.
Gandhi had led peaceful demonstrations during India’s struggle to gain independence in 1947 from Great Britain.
But the UPNG student leader said the bust did not reflect democracy in PNG because their petition to address some political and economic problems were suppressed by the police and the UPNG council.
“Also we were not allowed to stage a peaceful protest. So the bust (Gandhi) is meaningless,” he said.
The students removed the bust at the Waigani campus last weekend after the UPNG Council did not allow the Electoral Commission to conduct a referendum to boycott classes.
“The bust is heavy and it needs about four people to carry it. So it was taken from the podium near the forum and taken about 12 metres and hidden under the bookshop,” he said.
“The UPNG security guards took it away and it is now at the security base.” The National/ ONE PNG