Sandeep Wathar, the professor forced to kneel and apologise by ABVP workers for a social media post he had written about recent the Indo-Pak tensions, filed a police complaint against them on March 3. Sandeep is an assistant professor at Dr PG Halakatti Engineering College and Technology in Vijayapura in north Karnataka.
The APMC Police in Vijayapura town have registered an FIR against six people in connection with the case. Sachin Bagewadi, Kamlesh Sahukar, Vinod Manivaddar, Basavaraj Lagali, Sachin Kolur and Santhosh Choudhari are the accused students, who are also members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a right-wing youth outfit.
APMC police have booked the six persons under sections 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 447 (punishment for criminal trespass), 290 (punishment for public nuisance), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 149 (unlawful assembly with common objective) of the Indian Penal Code.
Speaking to TNM, Sandeep says that he is currently worried about his reputation at his workplace and his social circles. "There are people who believe that I am an anti-national and that is what I am worried about more than the police probe. The police will conduct an investigation and it will take time to see whether anyone will be punished. But my reputation has been maligned. How am I going to get that back?"
Assistant Professor Sandeep, who was on a two-day leave, returned to college on Tuesday. The college, however, has constituted a five-member committee to determine whether legal action must be taken against him.
According to an official with the Dr PG Halakatti Engineering College and Technology, the committee was constituted after immense pressure from the college students, who were members of the ABVP.
"The committee was constituted and the professor in question will be summoned before the committee for deposition. We are looking to see whether he has made any comments on social media which can be constituted as anti-national. We are in touch with our legal team to see whether suspending him or firing him would constitute as wrongful termination. The college management will take action based on the committee's report," the senior official said.