A 38-year-old professor from Khopoli in Maharashtra’s Raigad district was attacked by students and colleagues and later also arrested for asking why Shivaji’s birthday is celebrated twice a year.
Professor Sunil Waghmare, who is the head of the commerce department at KMC College in Khalapur, Raigad district, was arrested on Thursday after he raised the question in a group chat on WhatsApp, reports Mid-Day.
Because of the lack of clarity regarding Shivaji’s exact date of birth, the occasion is celebrated twice a year, in February and in March.
On March 15, when Waghmare made the comment, he was reprimanded by his colleague, Professor Amol Nagargoje. Nagargoje later filed a case against Waghmare under Section 295a (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code. On March 16, Waghmare was assaulted by students and colleagues.
Speaking to Mid-Day, Nagargoje said:
He is a senior faculty member and I know him since 2012. That night on WhatsApp, when he made the comment, I asked him to take back his words but he refused. So, I decided to delete the group altogether. On Friday, when I was in the staff room, I got to know that he was attacked. Later, because I was the administrator of the WhatsApp group, I was asked by the police to register a complaint.
The police is currently probing the matter. Waghmare is at present in judicial custody after the court rejected his bail plea citing a threat to his life outside jail.