LU student held for assault on prof booked for Varanasi temple remark

AN associate professor of the Lucknow University (LU) was allegedly assaulted by a student on the campus on Wednesday, days after an FIR was lodged against the professor for his remarks on the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Karthik Pandey, a postgraduate student of Sanskrit, has been arrested for breach of peace. While the Lucknow university administration suspended Pandey and formed a committee to probe the matter, the Samajwadi Party said that it has expelled Pandey from the party. Pandey was a member of Samajwadi Party Chhatra Sabha’s Lucknow University unit.

On May 10, police had lodged a case against associate professor Ravi Kant, 43, for allegedly making “objectionable” remarks on the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. He was booked on various charges, including promoting enmity, on a complaint filed by an ABVP member.

The same day, Kant also filed a complaint with the police against a dozen people claiming some members of ABVP, the student outfit of the RSS, for distorting his remarks. Police have so far not filed an FIR into Kant’s complaint.

Kant said that Wednesday’s assault on him was in continuation with the May 10 incident. “Today, I was going to take classes when Karthik Pandey suddenly came in front of me and started hurling abuses and attacked me. He also made casteist remarks… My two gunners immediately intervened and rescued me,” said Kant, who teaches Hindi. “Karthik Pandey was also involved in the May 10 incident,” he added.

Later, police took Pandey in custody. On Kant’s complaint, an FIR has been filed against Pandey and unidentified students under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 352 (assault or criminal force), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation). The police also invoked SC/ST Act against the accused.

“Karthik Pandey has been suspended. The university administration has cancelled his allotment of the hostel,” Lucknow University’s spokesperson Dugesh Srivastava said.

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