Shocker in MP college as Sanskrit professor brutally assaulted by six men led by student leader

All six accused held, professor hospitalised in Jabalpur for treatment of multiple injuries
The injured assistant professor Neeraj Dhakad (Photo | Special arrangement)
The injured assistant professor Neeraj Dhakad (Photo | Special arrangement)

BHOPAL: An assistant professor of Sanskrit was attacked allegedly by a group of men led by an influential student leader on the campus of a government college in Betul district of central Madhya Pradesh on Friday afternoon.

The attack led by the influential student leader Annu Thakur in the Government Jaywanti Haksar college campus in Betul, which caused serious injuries to the professor Neeraj Dhakad, revived the ghastly memories of the 2006 killing of political science professor HS Sabharwal by a group of students at Ujjain’s Madhav College.

Betul police booked the six accused for attempted murder under IPC Section 307 and also arrested all six including the prime accused Aniket alias Annu Thakur, who as per informed sources in Betul, enjoys strong political protection.

“All the six accused including Thakur have been arrested from Betul and adjoining districts,” Betul district police superintendent Nischal Jharia told The New Indian Express on Saturday.

According to Betul police sources, action is also likely to be initiated against Thakur under the National Security Act (NSA) in the coming days.

The injured assistant professor Neeraj Dhakad has been admitted to a private hospital in Jabalpur district for treatment of head and eye injuries, besides fracture in the elbow.

The shocking incident happened in the afternoon at the Sanskrit Department of the government college in Betul district (around 180 km from state capital Bhopal), while the assistant professor was discussing mark-sheet and project related issues with students.

“I was discussing mark-sheet and project related matters with five students, when 5-6 men armed with lathis (wooden sticks) barged into the department. Led by Annu Thakur, the men first threw chili powder in my eyes before attacking me with the lathis. They kept on assaulting me till I became unconscious. Even my glass table in the department was damaged in the attack. I don’t know why this attack happened, but I can identify one of the attackers, who was Annu Thakur,” Dhakad, whose head was bandaged and left eyebrow clearly swollen in the attack, told journalists on Friday.

While the professor claimed he didn’t know why Annu Thakur and others assaulted him, informed sources claim that the incident was linked to Thakur pressurizing the concerned assistant professor for grant of scholarship to a girl student by relaxing existing rules.

A 3.31 minutes CCTV grab from the college showed men armed with lathis (one of them covering his face with a white gumcha) entering and leaving the floor where the Sanskrit department is located.

Thakur is currently enrolled in the LLB course in another college of the same Betul district. He has been involved in 5-7 cases of assault and violent behavior outside the college campus in the past, but using his strong political connections, he has forced the victims to settle those cases out of the court. He has been involved in violent behaviour on the college campus in the past also, but the matters haven’t been reported to the police, owing to his strong political connections.

With Thakur being a habitual troublemaker, the local police on April 26 (during the Lok Sabha polls) had taken preventive action against him under Section 110 CrPc (executed a bond of good behaviour).

Eighteen years back in August 2006, Dr HS Sabharwal, the head of the political science department at the Madhav College in Ujjain, suffered severe injuries in an alleged attack by students associated with the ABVP (student wing of RSS) in the college campus. The attack reportedly happened due to cancelling of student elections over irregularities. Sabharwal died later at the hospital. The accused, however, were acquitted of murder charges by a special court in Nagpur (where the trial happened on the order of the Supreme Court) three years later in 2009 due to lack of adequate evidence. One of the accused Vimal Tomar, however, died under mysterious circumstances in his native Gwalior in 2011.

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