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HK College principal, VP resign after furore over Jignesh Mevani event

The controversy started after college trustees refused to allocate the college hall for an annual function for which Mevani was invited as a chief guest.

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The controversy over HK Arts and Commerce College extending an invite to its alumnus Jignesh Mevani has snowballed into a huge fight, and college principal Hemantkumar Shah and vice-principal Mohan Parmar have resigned on Monday.

The controversy started after college trustees refused to allocate the college hall for an annual function for which Mevani was invited as a chief guest. Shah alleged that this was done after student leaders associated with the BJP pressured the trustees to cancel the annual function scheduled for Monday.

"Mevani is an alumni of HK Arts College. He has gone from being a common man to an MLA. We had invited him to be the chief guest at the annual function. He was supposed to talk about the philosophy of Babasaheb Ambedkar and of his own struggle. We wanted to organise the function in the college hall. However, we started receiving threats from student leaders associated with BJP. I was determined to continue with the function. But when the hall was also not allotted to us, we had to cancel it," Shah told media persons at his residence later on Monday evening.

He alleged that the trustees had let him down, and that he never expected they would refuse permission to use the college hall for this purpose. "In the past, principals and faculty of HK College had taken a principled stand on a number of occasions. This time, however, the trustees had given me in writing about the refusal. Respecting the verdict and following my conscience, I decided to step down," said Shah.

He further blamed student leaders from Gujarat University who are associated with the BJP for threatening trustees and him, that if the function is held, they would disrupt it. Shah had even sought security from the city police.

He added that this is not the first time that a politician is being invited for the college function. Among those who have graced the college function are Narendra Modi (when he was Gujarat chief minister), former state ministers Ashok Bhatt, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Maya Kodnani, among others.

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