The Khopoli police arrested a commerce professor on March 16 (Thursday) after he was accused of inciting violence by questioning the celebration of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji’s birthday twice in a year. Sunil Waghmare (38), head of the Commerce department at KMC College in Khalapur, used “inappropriate” words against Shivaji on a WhatsApp group, police said. The birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji, as per the Hindu calendar, was celebrated on March 15 across the state. However, the state government officially celebrates Shivaji Jayanti on February 19, which is the date of Shivaji’s birth as per the historical records available.
As the second celebration was held last Wednesday, Waghmare allegedly put out the post the same night in a conversation on a WhatsApp group with his college colleagues.
“His comment created stir among his college friends and colleagues. The admin of the group deleted the group same night while Waghmare was attacked by students and professors of the college Friday morning. They demanded lodging of a complaint against Waghmare for bringing insult to the glory of Shivaji,” said Sawati Shinde, inspector, Khopoli police station.
A case has been registered against Waghmare under Section 295a (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious beliefs) of the IPC.
“We thought the words used against him (Shivaji) did incite violence and thus we arrested him. We have seized the phones of Waghmare and the professor who lodged a complaint against him,” Shinde added. Waghmare was Saturday remanded in judicial custody after he was produced in the court of the judicial magistrate.