Lucknow University vice-chancellor on Wednesday apologised to a BA second year student who was frisked thrice at the convocation ceremony for resembling an Indian Mujahideen terrorist.
Mohammad Zahid was body searched thrice for sporting a long beard before he was allowed to attend the convocation on January 9. The frisking was done on the orders of hostel warden OP Shukla.
TOI had reported the incident on January 14.
LU vice-chancellor SB Nimse condemned the incident but termed it a case of “media hype”. “Frisking was not in the hands of university officials. The incident was not in good spirits but it has been sorted out,” Nimse said, and added that discrimination of any kind – be it caste, creed or religion – will not be endorsed.
Satisfied with the apology, Zahid, a Lucknow University student, said the vice-chancellor has been cooperative on the issue. “They (VC and warden) have apologised and assured me that such incident will not be repeated. Hurting religious sentiments will not do any good to the university,” he said.
Welcoming the apology, president of Students Islamic Organization of India, Mohammad Saqib said, “In democratic institutions, one doesn’t expect communal treatment, especially from teachers. Hence, people should come forward in raising voice against any such activities.”
Senior professors of the university have called for immediate measures like communal sensitization to check such incidents. They suggest these can be incorporated in the curriculum or promoted through workshops or seminars. “Rather than publicising communalism, which is creating a rift among communities, sensitization is required. The issue has only been suppressed and not settled. Religions, especially Hinduism and Islam, have excited the political parties to gather vote. But it’s time to look beyond divisive politics,” said a senior professor.
A similar incident occurred in the university five years ago. After the student leaders raised the issue, the professor involved had to apologise.