ABVP forces Karnataka lecturer to kneel, apologise for ‘anti-India’ post

A video grab of the lecturer apologising at Dr. P.G. Halakatti Engineering College in Vijayapura on Saturday.

A video grab of the lecturer apologising at Dr. P.G. Halakatti Engineering College in Vijayapura on Saturday.  

Members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishat (ABVP) on Saturday allegedly forced a lecturer to kneel and apologise for posting an “anti-India” message on social media, in an educational institution headed by Home Minister M.B. Patil.

Although the incident took place in the presence of a police constable and college authorities, no case has been filed so far. The video showing the lecturer, identified as Sandeep Wathar, being forced to apologise has gone viral.

The campus of Dr. P.G. Halakatti Engineering College, run by BLDE institutions, here witnessed some tense moments after members of the ABVP took exception to the post shared by the lecturer and staged a demonstration. They alleged that the lecturer had committed “treachery” by appreciating and endorsing on Facebook the statement of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who had warned of the destruction caused by war.

As the ABVP protesters were particular that the lecturer come out and apologise, the college management reportedly “convinced” him to do so. When the visibly scared lecturer came out, the protesters made him kneel and apologise for his “mistake” with folded hands. They even made him say that he would not indulge in any such act again.

No suo motu action

Speaking to The Hindu, Superintendent of Police Prakash Nikam said that while whatever has happened was wrong, he was unable to take action against anyone as there was no complaint from either of the parties involved.

“We will take legal action against the lecturer and also the ABVP members, provided complaints are filed,” he said, clarifying that the police would not take suo motu action.

Meanwhile, the ABVP members are insisting that the police file a suo motu case against the lecturer. Divisional convener of ABVP Sachin Kulageri said: “We are waiting for Mr. 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,” he said.

Condemning the incident, president of Bahujan Vidyarthi Parsihad Srinath Pujari said it was wrong for the ABVP members to take law into their hands “Who are they to take law into their hands? If they think the lecturer has committed a crime, let them file a complaint and the law will take its own course. It is unfortunate that such incidents of moral policing are taking place in the home district of the Home Minister and in his institution,” he said.

Several calls made to the Home Minister remained unanswered.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 4:38:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/abvp-forces-lecturer-to-kneel-apologise-for-anti-india-post/article26420440.ece

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