Hours after resigning as the principal of New Government Law College in Indore, Inamul Rahman was booked for promoting enmity and hurting religious feelings, among other charges, along with teacher Mirza Mojij and two others.
Rahman, who was serving as the principal of the law college since 2019, had resigned on Saturday afternoon following a protest by students affiliated to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) outside his office. ABVP activists had on December 1 submitted a memorandum, alleging “religious fundamentalist thoughts being promoted by four Muslim teachers of the college”.
A day later, they cited a book titled “Collective Violence and Criminal Justice System” written by Dr Farhat Khan, highlighting some portions in that showed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in poor light “without any facts and encouraged anti-national thoughts”.
Rahman and three others were booked under sections 153-A (promoting enmity amongst two groups), 295-A (making deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage the religious feeling of a group), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult with an intent to provoke and breach peace), 505 (statements conducting to public mischief), and other sections of the Indian Penal Code.
In a statement issued after the FIR was registered against him, Rahman said that he was being “targeted for his faith”.
On Saturday morning, ABVP activists assembled outside Rahman’s office and demanded his resignation, while alleging that students were being forced to use this book for reference.
Speaking to The Sunday Express, Rahman said, “I had to resign under pressure with no fault of mine. We had never received any complaint on December 1, and despite ordering an inquiry by a retired district court judge, students raised objectionable and hurtful slogans, demanding my resignation.”
On the book in question, Rahman said it was procured by the then principal in 2014 based on the recommendation of the faculty. “One of the old copies in the library was issued by some students,” he said, adding that after objections were raised over the content of the book back then, the writer had to apologise and the book was never a part of the curriculum since.
In a written statement, Rahman said he had no knowledge of the book when he took charge in 2019.
The FIR against Rahman and three others has been registered based on a written application submitted by one Lucky Adiwal, an LLM student who allegedly had not paid his fee for the past two years, according to college authorities.
Rahman pointed out that Adiwal and eight others who had signed the December 1 memorandum were being orally told to pay the fee. Rahman said one of them, Dipendra Thakur, was not only a fee defaulter but had failed in exams for both semesters of his first-year course and would repeat the year.