An assistant professor of the sociology department, Sanjay Kumar, of Mahatma Gandhi Central University was assaulted after he shared a Facebook post that was critical of former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihar Vajpayee. In the comments section, he had written, “Fascivad ke ek Yug ki samapti. Atal ji anant yatra par nikle (The end of an era of fascism. Atal ji embarks on another journey)”.
The Motihari police have booked 12 people on charges of assault. According to his colleagues, he suffered internal injuries and is fainting at regular intervals. He was brought to Patna Medical College and Hospital.
Kumar has said in his complaint filed at Town police station that he was in his room at Azad Nagar in Motihari when 20-25 people led by Rahul Pandey and Aman Bihari Vajpayee attacked him and tried to lynch him. He has also alleged that during the assault, the accused asked him why he had been speaking up against the Motihari university V-C and a few others.
A purported video that has surfaced shows a person asking Kumar if he wanted to “become Kanhaiya Kumar”. He has also alleged that the accused tried to douse him with petrol. Kumar has also alleged that Dainik Bhaskar staff Sanjay Kumar Singh called him “terrorist” for his social media posts.
Among the booked include are Rahul Kumar Pandey, Sunny Vajpayee, Aman Bihari Vajpayee, Purushottam Mishra, Ravikesh Mishra, Gyaneshwar Gautam, Sanjay Kumar Singh — local bureau chief of Dainik Bhaskar — Dr Pawnesh Kumar Singh, Diwakar Singh, Dinesh Vyas, Jitendra Giri and Rakesh Pande. They have been booked under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 147 & 148 rioting, 149 (unlawful assembly), 365 ( kidnapping with intention of confinement) 448 (tresspass), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).
Sources said that a prolonged face-off between the V-C and faculty members could also have played a role in the attack. Kumar was among several teachers who had been opposing many decisions of the university administration, the sources said. Mrityunjay said, “The post on Vajpayee may well have provided the immediate trigger.”