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Protest against ‘Muslim’ faculty continues in BHU

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Appointment as per norm, clarification not needed: varsity

Protests against the appointment of a “Muslim” assistant professor in the Sanskrit Faculty of Banaras Hindu University continued on Tuesday, 12 days after it began.

The university, however, reiterated that the appointment was made as per norms and there was no need for further clarification.

The students opposed to the appointment of Assistant Professor Firoz Khan in the Sahitya (Literature) Department of the Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan of the central university staged a sit-in and recited the Hanuman Chalisa.

They argued that Mr. Khan may be eligible to teach the Sanskrit ‘language’ but not the Sanskrit ‘vidya dharma’, primarily due to his religious identity.

The students have been demanding that Mr. Khan be transferred to another faculty.

‘Dharma yudh’

“The dharma yudh (holy war) goes on,” posted Shubham Tiwary, one of the students leading the protest, on Facebook.

While he was not reachable on phone, in another Facebook post Mr. Tiwary, a Ph.D scholar, said: “Everyone has rights over a language, but not over religion”.

Umakant Chaturvedi, the head of department, said the deadlock was still on and classes were not being held in the department.

Amid speculation that the administration held another meeting to convince the students to drop the protests and resume classes, BHU spokesperson Rajesh Singh clarified there was no such discussion by the Vice-Chancellor on Tuesday.

“Once appointment is made as per rules, we have taken a stand, [there is] no use to reiterate it,” the spokesperson said.

However, asked about Mr. Khan not being able to discharge his duties as a teacher, Mr. Singh said: “He has officially joined and is getting his salary.”

Mr. Khan did not respond to phone calls.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 4:22:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/protest-against-muslim-faculty-continues-in-bhu/article30019946.ece

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