Sundar Singh Thakur, a professor at Bhagwant Rao Mandloi Agriculture College in Khandwa, died of a heart attack on Friday night three days after he was roughed up by members of the BJP-backed students’ union, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
The incident is almost a repeat of the death of another college teacher, HS Sabharwal, in Ujjain on August 26, 2006. Sabharwal died after being beaten up by ABVP activists inside the premises of Madhav College while trying to stop irregularities during students' union polls.
On March 9, ABVP activists entered the office of PP Shastri, dean of the college, and blackened the face of a professor Ashok Choudhary. When Thakur tried to intervene, he was also attacked by the students.
“The activists accused me of having illicit relations with hostel girls,” said Choudhary. “One girl hit me with slippers. In an attempt to stop her, Prof Thakur got hit,” said Choudhary.
Humiliated and hurt, Thakur went back to his ancestral home in Agara village in Damoh district. According to his family members, Thakur complained of chest pain on March 11 while narrating the incident. He was immediately taken to a hospital, where he died.
ABVP state secretary Manoj Raut admitted ABVP activists had roughed up Choudhary. But he said Thakur was nowhere in picture.
Sabharwal’s son Himanshu, told HT from New Delhi over the phone that the ABVP had no right to indulge in moral policing. Choudhary has filed an FIR against the ABVP.
Additional superintendent of police Devendra Patidar said, "An FIR has been filed against three persons. But eight more names later emerged through video footages and eyewitnesses account."
"This is an allegation. But our government there protects citizens. This is a matter to be examined," BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told HT.