A professor at the Hindi Department of Lucknow University (LU) was booked on Tuesday, 10 May, for allegedly making controversial remarks on the ongoing Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque issue during a YouTube debate.
This came hours after members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a protest at Lucknow University on Tuesday against professor Ravikant Chandan.
A student of the university, Aman Dubey, who lives in Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) hostel, filed a complaint with the police, following which an FIR was registered. A copy of the FIR is available with The Quint.
In his complaint, Dubey alleged, "His act hurt the sentiments of Hindu students, and he also attempted to vitiate the harmony of the university. When he was confronted by the students after the video was leaked, the professor called goons/musclemen who attempted to assault the protesters," Dubey alleged.
Dubey said the video has gone viral on social media, and the incident has affected the image of Lucknow University. "I, therefore, request the police to register a case in this connection and take preventive measures," he said.
What Had the Professor Said?
The professor, Ravikant Chandan, had cited a book by Indian freedom fighter Pattabhi Sitaramayya in which the latter allegedly says that the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi was demolished by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb after a Hindu queen travelling with him, along with other Hindu kings and queens, was found in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, having been raped.
He added that Aurangzeb was angered by the saints at the temple for raping the woman, and thus demolished the structure.
The woman, however, requested Aurangzeb to re-construct the temple, to which he said that it was impossible, and constructed a mosque in its place instead.
'Protest Will Continue Until Investigation is Conducted': ABVP
In response to the professor's statements, students of the ABVP raised slogans of 'Jai Shree Ram' in the campus and also surrounded the proctor's office, demanding the professor to be removed from his post.
Professor Ravikant, meanwhile, said that if somebody was hurt by his statements, then he would like to offer his apologies.
An ABVP worker and member of the university said, "Until an investigation is conducted into the remarks of the professor, we will continue our protest."
'Utterly Shameful': AISA Slams ABVP's Protest
Meanwhile, the All India Students' Association (AISA), a left-wing body, slammed the ABVP over their protest.
Emphasising that Chandan was speaking as a guest on the matter of the history of the Gyanvapi Mosque, the AISA said, "These goons of BJP will attack people for their free expressions, for their food choices, for anything whatsoever that goes against the hate fueled communal agenda of their ideologues."
They also added that it was "utterly shameful" that sloganeering of this kind was undertaken by "hateful mobs" in the university campus.
"The hooliganism of ABVP fanatics is increasing continuously in the university campuses. Today, ABVP goons barging into the campus of Lucknow University are continuously threatening to kill a Dalit Professor Dr Ravikant Chandan," the AISA added, urging members of civil society and teachers' associations across the country to come together and stand in support of professor Chandan.