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BHU Muslim professor resigns from Sanskrit department, students call off protest

The Muslim Sanskrit professor, whose appointment to the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vigyan (SVDV) of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) led to an indefinite strike by the students of the department, has resigned. He has joined the Arts Faculty of the varsity.

A group of students, mostly from ABVP, who had been protesting against the appointment of Firoz Khan, have called off their protest. The students had his appointment as an assistant professor as they believed that a non-Hindu teacher cannot teach in the Sanskrit Faculty.

The university appears to have given in to their demand and decided to take a middle path by providing Professor Khan with an opportunity to transfer.

On Monday, a Dalit professor was allegedly attacked by students for supporting Professor Khan. Professor Shanti Lal Salvi, a senior faculty of the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma, alleged that stones were thrown at him.

He said, “I was in the middle of my lecture when some students barged in and started abusing me and threw stones at me.”

He claimed that a colleague instigated the students. After reporting the matter to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Salvi also filed an FIR at the Lanka police station.

The students have been boycotting classes since November 8. They even organized a hawan (prayer ritual) outside the Vice Chancellor’s residence to “purify” the campus.

Khan, who hails from Jaipur is praised in his hometown for his profound knowledge of Sanskrit and its literature despite being a Muslim. His father Ramzan Khan, too, is a graduate in Sanskrit.

He was forced to return to his hometown after students protested against his appointment.

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