Almost three months after he slapped a Dalit associate professor in the Department of Hindi, the Lucknow University (LU) has finally expelled Kartik Pandey, an MA first year, second semester (Sanskrit) student with immediate effect.
Vidyanand Tripathi, registrar, stated, “The university has not only expelled Kartik Pandey but in future, he will not be admitted to the university or any other affiliated colleges of the university.”
Pandey had slapped Ravikant Chandan, a Dalit associate professor, during a protest on May 18 this year. Protests erupted against the professor for his alleged remarks during an online YouTube debate on the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex row.
On May 10, there was a huge uproar on the campus as a section of students gheraoed Prof Ravikant Chandan, who alleged that they threatened to kill him.
A week later, on May 18, Pandey slapped Prof Ravikant Chandan in front of the Arts Faculty building in presence of the varsity’s security guard.
The university action comes after the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on July 11 had asked the LU officials as to what action has been taken regarding the incident.
Vice chancellor Prof Alok Kumar Rai, based on a report submitted by proctor Rakesh Dwivedi and dean of student welfare Poonam Tandon on July 31, expelled the student.
Reacting to his expulsion, Pandey said, “University is doing injustice to me. The matter was pending before the court.”
Meanwhile, Prof Ravikant Chandan said on Wednesday, “It is better late than never. I am glad that vice-chancellor Prof Alok Kumar Rai and the university administration took note of the May 18 incident when a student slapped me. I am hopeful that the university will also act against the bunch of students who threatened to kill me on May 10.”
The LU Teachers Association (LUTA) has also welcomed the decision. “We fully support the University’s decision. A student should not take such a step, and that too against a teacher,” LUTA said in a statement.