A PROFESSOR arrested for questioning on social media why Chhatrapati Shivaji’s birthday was celebrated twice a year was released on bail Monday. He has been suspended from his position in his college.
The professor was arrested on March 16 soon after he was attacked for his comment by a mob of students and teachers of a suburban college, as well as people who claimed to be followers of the warrior king.
Sunil Waghmare, a commerce professor at KMC College, Khalapur in Raigad, had made the comment on a WhatsApp group on March 15. The birth anniversary of Shivaji is celebrated in February as well as in March owing to ambiguity over the warrior king’s birth date. Members of the group then asked for an apology from Waghmare, who refused to oblige.
By midnight, the WhatsApp group was deleted but a screenshot of his comment went viral causing an uproar on campus the next day. Waghmare was attacked on campus and the police had to intervene.
“Among the attackers were students, teachers and locals from different political parties,” said a senior police officer. The police that reached the campus to shield Waghmare arrested him following pressure from the attackers.
Arrested under under section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code for outraging religious feelings or class by insulting religion or religious beliefs, Waghmare was denied bail. Waghmare reportedly refused to lodge a complaint against his attackers.