PATNA: An assistant professor of a university in Bihar was attacked allegedly because of his comments on the social media backing a post critical of late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, prompting Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav of RJD to blame it on RSS and slam Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for letting RSS expand in the state.
One of the 12 men accused of thrashing Sanjay Kumar, an assistant professor of sociology at Mahatma Gandhi Central University (MGCU) in Motihari, was arrested on Saturday. Kumar, an alumnus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), was dragged from his house to the street and assaulted by a group of people in broad daylight on Friday. The attackers also allegedly poured petrol on him in a bid to burn him alive.
While the attackers said Kumar was “punished” for “insulting” the former prime minister, who passed away on Thursday, the professor claimed he was targeted only because he has been raising his voice against the “high-handed decisions” taken by MGCU vice-chancellor Arvind Kumar Agarwal over the past few months.
With tensions between groups backing and opposing the VC prevailing on the varsity campus, sources said Sanjay Kumar’s comments on a Facebook post became the immediate trigger for the assault. In his comments on a post on the former PM’s demise, Kumar had written: ‘Fascivaad ka ek naye yug ki samaapti, Atal ji anant yatra pe nikle (It is the end of a new era of Fascism; Atalji embarks on his final journey)’.
“What is this going on, Mr CM? RSS goons in direct patronage of RSS-programmed VC assaulted and almost lynched a professor. They poured petrol to burn him alive,” said Tejashwi Yadav, leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly, in a tweet. “Nitishji, why do not you open an RSS shakha in CM House and be its Sarsanghchalak?” he added.
Yadav has earlier blamed the communal clashes across Bihar in March on RSS and accused Nitish Kumar of giving the organisation a free hand to expand across Bihar.
“The professor should not have made such comments. It was not right for others to physically attack him. A probe is on and action would be taken against the guilty. The Opposition leader is reading too much into this incident,” said ruling JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh.
RJD Rajya Sabha member Manoj Jha on Saturday wrote a letter to Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on the MGCU issue. “Cracking down on people having ideological differences with him has become the VC’s style of functioning… We urge you to ensure strong action on the guilty following an impartial probe,” wrote Jha.