Taking the law into own hands, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members on Saturday forced an assistant professor of a private engineering college in Karnataka’s Vijayapura to kneel down for a Facebook post that they claimed was “anti-India” post. The professor was forced to kneel down in the presence of the police. The activists also demanded that he should be suspended for his alleged “anti-national” posts.
Sandeep Varthar, the assistant professor of civil engineering at Dr PG Halakatti College of Engineering and Technology, wrote on Facebook, criticising the BJP-led centre for creating a war-like situation amidst the high tension that ensued between India and Pakistan since the Indian Air Force’s pre-emptive strike in Balkot on February 27. He also said that BJP is a party with absolutely no shame.
The post read: “Who sounds more intelligent in all this? You **** all bhakts. You will [be] the reason for [the] destruction of millions of lives if this tension escalates. BJP is **** all party absolutely zero shame.”
In another Facebook post, both have now been deleted, Sandeep had also apparently praised Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. In multiple videos now doing the rounds, the ABVP cadres can be seen raising slogans. The professor can be seen kneeling down in one of the videos and folding his hands in obeisance. He then says, "I am sorry, I won't do it again."
But despite the apology, ABVP cadres can be heard shouting, "Desha virodhi nayige dhikkara." (anti-national dog). An ABVP member then addresses the crowd and says, "He has apologised, but we demand that suspension procedure must be started when the Principal comes back. Not just in this campus, wherever in India this happens we will do the same."
Speaking to The Indian Express, college principal VP Huggi said that although Sandeep has not been suspended yet, he will be issued an order on Tuesday when the college reopens.
Vijaypura Additional SP BS Nemagouda confirmed the involvement of ABVP activists in the incident to TNM.
However, the police said that they won’t be taking any suo motu action against the ABVP activists. Vijayapura SP Prakash Nikam told The Hindu, “We will take legal action against the lecturer and also the ABVP members, provided complaints are filed.”
The college is owned by Karnataka Home Minister MB Patil. The minister could not be reached for comment.
The Hindu also quoted Divisional convener of ABVP, Sachin Kulageri, as saying, “We are waiting for Patil to take action against the lecturer as a few days ago, he had issued a clear statement that persons giving anti-India statements would not be spared. We will wait for him to act and if nothing happens, we will file a complaint.”
Replying to a journalist's tweet, the ABVP said that they were merely doing their duty.
Being responsible student wing we always stands with National Security, lecturer of particular college gave a Anti National statement which was condemned by student community. #NationFirst— ABVP Karnataka (@ABVPKarnataka) March 3, 2019
The journalist replied.
You are free to condemn, criticise, complain to the police if you wish not to threaten anyone to do something against his will— Samar Halarnkar (@samar11) March 3, 2019