A teacher at Delhi University’s prestigious Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) was assaulted by a student. The incident occurred on 14th July, Friday when Pardeep Phogat, a final year student of Global Business Operations (two-year diploma course), slapped and kicked his teacher Ashwani Kumar in the college’s parking lot.
Reason for the row.
The student affirms that he lost his cool because he thought that the professor was trying to fail him deliberately. “Ashwani Sir has had a problem with me since last year when I participated in the college elections. He holds a grudge against me since I’m from Law Faculty and from ABVP. He doesn’t want students to be politically active. He gave me zero in my internals, and also asked all other teachers do the same.” said Phogat. He further added, “My attendance was normal, but he stopped my admit card this year. I was simply speaking to Ashwani Sir on Friday, pleading with him to not ruin my future. But he said ‘I won’t let you pass’. After that, I pushed him, slapped him thrice and kicked him in his abdomen. He left me with no other option.” These statements are clearly the admission of Pradeep Phogat’s guilt.
The teachers maintain that the accused had failed in his exams for which he was given zero marks. According to the college authorities, the student had been prodding the teacher to pass him in the internals. “Last semester, he had failed in all his exams, and this semester he didn’t even sit for the examinations. What can a teacher do? He probably thought he could threaten teachers and have his way, but things don’t work that way. He had earlier also called and threatened Ashwani Kumar on the phone regarding the same,” college Principal R. P. Rustagi Rustogi asserts.
Teachers take action, file FIR.
After the incident, some of the teachers including the college Principal went to the Maurice Nagar police station and submitted a complaint. Subsequently, a FIR was filed under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341(wrongful restraint) and 506 (criminal intimidation) on Friday. However, Phagot was released on bail on the same day.
ABVP in damage control mode.
Phogat was the Union Sports Secretary of Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) in 2015 and claims to be a member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Though, in wake of the recent incident ABVP has denied any association with him. “The student was never a part of ABVP. He might have worked with DUSU in the past but hasn’t represented ABVP. He is not even a member of the organisation,” says Bharat Khatana, General Secretary, Delhi ABVP. However, old pictures of the accused with ABVP members have surfaced.
Not the first time for ABVP
This is not the first time the ABVP has engaged in a blatant display of muscle power and assaulted professors. Last year in June, Dr Vineet Mehta, physical education professor of SRCC was thrashed by DUSU president Satender Awana. Following which roughly 70 teachers marched to the Maurice Nagar police station and registered the FIR.
Before that, on 15th December 2016 The Dean of Law Faculty, Professor Ved Kumari gave a statement against ABVP for abusing, threatening and vandalising her office property when she denied admit cards to the students who had failed to meet the attendance criteria.
It’s about time.
When some student (or union representative) assaults professors openly, then not only is it’s too obvious to comment on impunity and entitlement that backs these hooligans, but also raises important questions on law and order situation pertaining in the campus. It’s about time that university administration and police start taking action for the sake of campus community’s safety.
DU Beat hopes that these cases move beyond FIRs and the guilty is dealt with sternly.
Feature Image: DU Beat.
Picture Credits- Facebook/ Pradeep Phogat
With inputs from Press Trust of India