A professor of Krantiguru Shaymji Krishna Verma Kachchh University (KSKVKU) was assaulted and his face blackened allegedly by supporters of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the RSS, in Bhuj town of Kutch district on Tuesday over allegations of discrepancy in the university electoral rolls.
According to the university’s Vice-Chancellor Chandrasinh Jadeja, a group of ABVP supporters stormed into the classroom where Girin Baxi was delivering a lecture and dragged him out and threw “a black substance” on his face. They paraded him to the chamber of university registrar and gheraoed the chamber of the vice-chancellor for nearly an hour.
“They claimed that voter registration forms submitted by ABVP supporters were selectively rejected by Prof Baxi. However, prima facie, their claim was found to baseless as all the forms were rejected as per the rules. Nonetheless, we had scheduled a hearing on the issue at 4.30 pm on Tuesday. But the ABVP supporters became aggressive and attacked Prof Baxi,” the vice-chancellor told The Indian Express.
Inspector Vikram Kothiya said all the accused are associated with the ABVP. “They stormed into Prof Baxi’s classroom and demanded explanation why some forms were rejected. When the professor asked them to wait outside and informed them that a hearing was scheduled in the evening, the assailants dragged him out of the classroom and threw some chemical on his face. They, then paraded him to the chamber of university registrar. They also threatened the registrar that he too would face the same fate if their demands were not met,” said Kothiya.
Baxi was rushed to a hospital where his condition is stated to be “normal”. According to the police, Baxi complained of severe skin irritation after his face was blackened.
“We have filed a police complaint in this regard. We also convened an urgent meeting of the executive council of the university which condemned the action of the ABPV supporters. The teaching staff of the university has also unanimously condemned the incident,” the Vice-Chancellor said. “We do have an internal security arrangement in place. But being an educational campus, security guards here remain lenient, and the assailants caught everybody by surprise,” he added.
Bhuj B Division police have booked a group of around 15 to 20 persons under IPC sections 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from duty) as well as under sections related to criminal intimidation and rioting.
Baxi, an associate professor who heads the chemistry department of the university, had been assigned the responsibility of preparing voters’ list for election to the senate of the university, due on July 22. Senate is the highest decision-making body of a varsity in Gujarat. Members to the body are elected while some are also nominated. The V-C said that he has deputed eight more persons to scrutinise voters’ list and application forms to resolve the issue immediately.