Professor in Bihar allegedly attacked for a post criticising Vajpayee on Facebook

By: Mahpara Kabir
Beware of what you post on your social media handles as it may end up landing you in severe trouble. Sanjay Kumar, Assistant Professor in the Sociology department of the Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Motihari, Bihar, was allegedly attacked on August 17, for a post criticising Vajpayee on Facebook. Kumar has received several injuries and is now being taken to AIIMS Patna by his colleagues.
“Sir (Sanjay Kumar) had posted on Facebook last night about Vajpayee ji after which he started receiving several threat calls,” says Mrityunjay, a student at the university who immediately rushed for help after hearing about the attack.
The caller had also referred to the professor as a ‘friend of the likes of Kanhaiya Kumar’. The professor was assaulted by a group of 10-12 men who barged into his flat at around 1:30 pm. Wielding swords and sticks, they dragged the professor from his flat on the third floor to the road and then tried to burn him alive by pouring down petrol on him. The attackers warned the professor to resign from his post as early as possible and left.
A complaint has been filed on behalf of Kumar in which he has claimed that he has received such threatening calls in the past as well. Kumar had also been in trouble earlier when he posted about the attack on JNU student Umar Khalid.
According to Mrityunjay, a fellow student, Vikram, who was trying to record the incident on his mobile phone is also missing.
Things had been heated between the Vice Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Motihari, and the faculty. The entire faculty was agitating since May 29, 2018, demanding that the roster for appointment should be followed by the Vice Chancellor. The teachers had decided to continue with classes as usual despite their differences with the college administration.
While former prime minister Late Shri Vajpayee was known for taking criticism in his stride, the incident in Motihari shows how much the space has shrunk for dissent.