Probe sought for attack on Bihar academician

Probe sought for attack on Bihar academician

Prakash Javadekar

RJD's Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha has urged Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar to order “an impartial” inquiry into a case where an assistant professor in Bihar was brutally roughed up by a group of people over his Facebook post on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The assailants, while beating up Sanjay Kumar, assistant professor of a central university in Motihari on Friday, had also allegedly tried to burn him alive.

Though the immediate reason behind attack on Kumar was his Facebook post against Vajpayee who passed away on Thursday (August 16), Jha in his letter to the HRD Minister said that the “gruesome incident” should be seen as the culmination of the series “suppressive actions” that were taken by the vice chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi Central University against his “ideological opponents.”

“At present, the faculty member is battling for his life at Patna Medical College Hospital. It is a humble request to you that a strict action be taken against the culprits after an impartial inquiry into the entire episode so that teachers and students can exchange their views in the campus without any fear,” The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader urged.

While the incident has kicked up a massive political row in Bihar, the Federation of the Central University Teachers Association (FEDCUTA) has joined the chorus, claiming that attempts were made to “lynch” Kumar because he had been participating in a series of protests against the university administration and its vice chancellors Arvind Kumar Agarwal over various issues.

“While the immediate excuse of attack on Kumar, who happens to be an alumnus of Delhi's prestigious JNU, appears to be his critical posts on the Facebook about late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, it is clear that the real reason behind the attack is the protests against the administration on several issues including violation of reservation policy in recruitment of non-teaching staff,” the FEDCUTA president Rajib Ray said.

The recently formed Mahatma Gandhi Central University Teachers' Association by the teachers to take their struggle forward has “evidently” angered the vice chancellor, he also charged.

“The horrifying background to the attack is the crackdown on the fundamental right to dissent and freedom of expression by the administration at the Central University to browbeat the protestors," the FEDCUTA said in a statement, demanding a judicial probe into the case.

The central university teachers body also demanded a Visitorial inquiry into “the misconduct” of the Mahatma Gandhi Central University vice-chancellor.

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