MP: Professor Suspended After ABVP Alleges Targeting of Hindu Students

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VC of Ujjain’s Vikram University orders inquiry after Prof. Anees Sheikh faces allegations of promoting conversion

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – In a troubling development at Vikram University in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain city, Prof. Anees Sheikh of the Pharmacy Department has found himself at the receiving end after allegations of deliberately awarding low marks to students based on their religion surfaced against him.

A group of students belonging to the BJP-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) also accused the professor of encouraging students to explore the benefits of offering namaz and converting to Islam.

Vice Chancellor Akhilesh Kumar Pandey suspended Prof. Sheikh for 15 days pending further investigation. “We take these allegations seriously,” stated Vice Chancellor Pandey. “An inquiry committee has been formed to investigate the matter thoroughly. If found guilty, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against the professor,” he added.

Prof Shaikh, who has been a guest faculty at Vikram University for the past 13 years, has denied all charges against him. “I cannot deliberately give poor grades to any student as there are external examiners who supervise viva voces.”

ABVP General Secretary Adarsh Choudhary said there were constant complaints that Prof. Anees Sheikh was unfairly targeting Hindu students, particularly in chemistry. “His alleged actions of promoting conversion among students have deeply troubled us,” he said.

The situation escalated into protests led by ABVP members, who demanded immediate action against Prof. Sheikh, claiming he had formed social media groups discussing religious conversion. The unrest led to disruptions within the university, with students halting examinations and locking down campus entrances.

Students supporting the allegations against Prof. Sheikh claimed that Hindu students were disproportionately failing in his classes. They also accused him of inappropriate behaviour, including sending poetry via social media platforms.

Ojas Gupta, a third-year student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at the university’s technical wing, alleged that he was deliberately given ‘C’ and ‘D’ grades by the professor.

“Despite having good attendance and being a student who scored distinction in my Class 10 and 12 board exams, I received ‘C’ and ‘D’ grades in organic chemistry, taught by Anees Shaikh,” he said, adding that other students, who he identified as Nikhil Mandloi, Vikas Barode, Vikas Parmar and Aman Chouhan, too had deliberately been given poor grades.

Prof Shaikh was quoted in the media as saying that he could not deliberately give poor grades to any student, including Ojas Gupta, as there are external examiners for the vivas. He further clarified: “When it comes to checking papers, being a guest faculty, I do not check the papers and they go for assessment outside the university. And besides, if a student does not show up in class for six months, how do you give them good grades?”

The incident has reignited discussions about religious tolerance and academic integrity within educational institutions, prompting calls for a comprehensive review of policies regarding cultural sensitivity and freedom of expression on campuses.

The university administration has assured that a fair investigation will be conducted to address the grievances and restore normalcy within the campus community.

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