Published: 27th May 2022
Attack on Dalit professor for Gyanvapi masjid remarks gets political twist
The professor faced protests and sloganeering from ABVP students on May 10 and was later slapped by another student on campus on May 18
The chief of the Bhim Army, Chandra Shekhar Azad, visited the Lucknow University campus to call on Prof Ravi Kant, who had allegedly been attacked for remarks on the Gyanvapi Masjid controversy earlier this month. Prof Ravi Kant, a Dalit professor, had made remarks during an online debate show and was later attacked by students who allegedly belonged to right-wing groups at the university campus. On May 10, students from the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had raised slogans against him and carried out a protest. Then, on May 18, he was slapped by a student of the university, allegedly in the presence of a security guard.
However, despite approaching the police, Prof Ravi's FIR against the assailants was not registered. In fact, IANS reported that an FIR was registered against him instead. During his visit to the university, Azad highlighted the delay in filing the complaint by the police. He then threatened to launch an agitation if the case was not registered against the accused students. Azad's visit to the Lucknow University, however, was not well received by a section of students, who chanted slogans in the name of a Hindu deity. This faction was countered by a group of Dalit students and supporters of the Bhim Army Chief, who raised the slogan "Jai Bhim", reported 3q.
A representation was also submitted to the Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University, Prof Alok Kumar Rai, against Azad's visit to the campus. On the other hand, the Lucknow University Teachers' Association (LUTA) has also spoken out in support of Prof Ravi Kant and has written to Uttar Pradesh's Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to urge action against the accused students who assaulted the professor on campus.
Echoing the message brought to the campus by Azad, the letter from the LUTA says, "Indecent behaviour and sloganeering by some people with Lucknow University teacher Ravi Kant Chandan is objectionable and the teachers' body requests action against those who create unrest on the campus," as reported by IANS.