Dear Nitish Kumar, You Must Step In to End This Atmosphere of Fear: Jamia Teachers Write After Attack on Professor

18th August 2018

Dear Shri Nitish Kumar Ji,
Hon’ble Chief Minister,
Bihar.

Shri Nitish Kumar ji,

You may be aware that Sanjay Kumar Yadav, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Central University Motihari was brutally assaulted on 17th August 2018 by a gang of around 20-25 goons. The attack is said to have taken place at around 1 pm, when Sanjay Kumar was dragged from his third floor flat into the street, and assaulted with rods. To add to his humiliation, his clothes were torn. The mob also tried to set him alight and poured petrol over him. He was saved only by the intervention of passers by. The sequence of events is plain from the video clip recording of the gruesome violence which is circulating on social media. We are however also attaching it herewith, should it have escaped your attention.

In his complaint to the police, Sanjay Kumar has clearly named the ring leaders of the mob: Rahul R. Pandey, Sunny Vajpayee, Aman Bihari Vajpayee, Purshottam Mishra, Ravikesh Mishra, and Rakesh Pandey. His complaint also records the incessant harassment and threats issued by Sanjay Kumar Singh, Bureau Chief, Dainik Bhaskar. These threats pertained to his opposition to the Vice Chancellor against whom the university teachers had been agitating, as well as his facebook posts. A facebook post he had shared recently had invited the wrath of one Jitendra Giri and Rakesh Pandey. Thus an atmosphere of intimidation and threats of violence had immediately preceded the attack.

Sanjay Kumar is presently at PMCH Patna in a critical condition.

Sir, if open intimidation and violence, if silencing of critical voices, and this sense of power and impunity enjoyed by a section, is not Jungle Raj, what is? Even as Sanjay Kumar has named the perpetrators and those who threatened him, and the same can be ascertained from the video – no arrests have been made as we write. We are unable to fathom the delay in arresting the accused except as deliberate reluctance or complicity on part of the local administration.

The sections under which the FIR has been filed are laughably light. Sir, we urge you to see the video and decide whether the mob attacking Sanjay Kumar with rods was merely engaging in wrongful restraint (S. 341), and a simple case of causing hurt voluntarily (S. 323). By booking the attackers under much lighter charges – all of which are bailable – your administration has effectively killed the prosecution case even before it has begun. What would qualify as an attempt to murder (non-bailable S. 307) in your opinion?

We are surprised at the sullen silence of the government on this murderous assault. We can only conclude that your conscience has made peace with the lynch mob.

Sd/

Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association
New Delhi.