A 38-year-old professor from Maharashtra has been arrested after questioning why Chhatrapati Shivaji’s birthday was celebrated twice a year.
A report in Mid-Day says that professor Sunil Waghmare, the head of department of commerce at the KMC college in Raigad, had posted the question on a WhatsApp group which also had teachers on it.
Shivaji’s exact date-of-birth is not known and it is celebrated twice a year, in February and March.
The group administrator, Professor Amol Nagargoje , who teaches at the same college, is said to have reprimanded Waghmare and deleted the group later. News of the conversation had spread though and Waghmare was beaten up by students and teachers at the college and the police had to come in to help him. He was arrested by them later, however, under Section 295a (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code.
Professor Nagargoje, who filed the complaint, told the newspaper that he knew Nagargoje since 2012 and that he had asked Waghmare to take back the comment that fateful night but he didn’t. “So, I decided to delete the group altogether. On Friday, when I was in the staff room, I got to know that he was attacked. Later, because I was the admin of the group, I was asked by the police to register the complaint,” he reportedly said.
Waghmare and Nagargoje’s phones have been seized by the police and they are probing the case currently. Waghmare remains in judicial custody after the court rejected his bail-plea citing a threat to his life outside jail.