Aligarh Muslim University on Wednesday suspended a professor who referred to examples of “rape” in Hindu mythology during a forensic science class, provoking accusations of hurting religious sentiments.
According to AMU officials, Dr Jitendra Kumar, an assistant professor at AMU’s Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, made the references to “rape” in mythology while conducting a class on medical jurisprudence.
He was served a showcause notice asking him to explain within 24 hours why disciplinary action should not be taken against him. The university authorities also set up a two-member probe committee, but he was suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry, an official told PTI.
This was because of the seriousness of the issue and preliminary evidence that indicated misconduct, the official said.
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After getting the notice, the professor apologised.
In a letter to AMU vice chancellor Tariq Mansoor on Wednesday, Kumar said, “My intention was not to hurt religious sentiments of any particular religion and it was done only to highlight that rape has been a part of our society since long.” He said it was “an inadvertent mistake” and assured that “no such incident will occur in the future”.
His lecture, which included a slide show, led to complaints that he had hurt the religious sentiments of students and staff members.
A controversy erupted after someone posted a video clip of the lecture on social media. The AMU authorities acted after reporters approached them for comment on Wednesday.
The AMU authorities initially issued a showcause notice on the recommendation of the dean of the faculty of medicine, Prof Rakesh Bhargava.
“You deliberately and maliciously played a slide in the powerpoint (presentation) in the classroom under the heading Rape, so as to outrage the religious feelings of a particular community,” the notice from AMU Registrar Abdul Hamid said, warning him of possible disciplinary action.