Lucknow University expels student who slapped professor

Almost three months after slapping a Dalit associate professor in the Hindi department, Lucknow University (LU) has finally expelled Karthik Pandey, a first-year, second-semester MA (Sanskrit) student, with immediate effect.

“The university has not only expelled Karthik Pandey but in future, he will not be admitted to the university or any other affiliated college of the university,” said Vidyanand Tripathi, registrar.

Pandey had slapped a Dalit associate professor Ravikant Chandan during a protest on May 18 this year. Protests erupted over the professor’s alleged remarks during an online YouTube debate on the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex row.

On May 10, there was a huge ruckus in the campus when a section of students surrounded Prof. Ravi Kant Chandan, who allegedly threatened to kill them.

A week later, on May 18, Pandey slapped Professor Ravikant Chandan in front of the Arts Faculty building in the presence of a university security guard.

The university’s action comes after the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on July 11 asked LU officials what action had been taken in connection with the incident.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Alok Kumar Rai expelled the student on July 31 based on a report submitted by Proctor Rakesh Dwivedi and Dean of Student Welfare Poonam Tandon.

Reacting to his expulsion, Pandey said, “The university is doing injustice to me. This matter was pending in the court.

Meanwhile, Prof Ravikanth Chandan said on Wednesday, “It is better than never. I am glad that Vice Chancellor Prof Alok Kumar Rai and the university administration took notice of the May 18 incident when a student slapped me. I hope the university will also take action against the group of students who threatened to kill me on May 10.

LU Teachers Association (LUTA) has also welcomed the decision. We fully support the decision of the university. A student should not take such a step, and that too against a teacher,” LUTA said in a statement.

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