Madhya Pradesh faculty accused by ABVP of allegedly “promoting Islam” due to a post on Ramadan greeting

The ABVP in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain has reportedly accused a Muslim professor of “promoting Islam” and “giving less marks to Hindu students.” The professor who is accused has stated that the allegations are baseless, and the incident has only occurred after he refused to be pressured to give extra marks to absentee students.

Vikram University in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, has formed a committee to investigate allegations against a Muslim professor who has been accused of promoting Islam. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Akhilesh Kumar Pandey, has announced that complaints had been received against Anis Sheikh, a guest professor at the Institute of Pharmacy. The complaints allege that Sheikh propagated Islam in a WhatsApp group that included members of all communities.

After the allegations, Professor Sheikh has been suspended for 15 days from his job.

The ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad), which is the student wing of the BJP, claims that Anis Sheikh has discriminated against Hindu students by giving better grades to Muslim students in the subject chemistry while frequently giving low marks to Hindu students and sometimes even failing them.

According to Siasat News, Anis Sheikh has denied all of these allegations, and stated, “I cannot discriminate against any student based on their religion. I treat all my students equally and grade them based on their academic performance.” He has stated that students who don’t attend exams have been pressuring him to give them marks over 80-85 percent and this issue has risen after he refused to be pressured to give in to those demands. He has further stated that he has 60 students in his class, out of which only four are from the minority community, as per PTI. “I will present my side before the investigating committee. The allegations against me are baseless.”

The ABVP has also claimed that Anis Sheikh was encouraging religious conversion to Islam among Hindu students through WhatsApp groups, levelling it as an accusation. Shaikh has been a guest faculty at the university for the past 13 years, Professor Shaik has reportedly also told PTI that he had nothing to do with the WhatsApp group the ABVP is talking about, “It is the WhatsApp group of the department and the HOD (Head of the Department) is the admin. I had nothing to do with it. It was a year old post in the chats about Ramadan greetings”. Sheikh has been suspended from his job for 15 days.

The vice-chancellor met the protesting ABVP and assured them that there would be action. He has also announced that a report will be submitted on the allegations within 15 days.

The incident is eerily similar to a case where some Muslims, including a professor at the Indore Law College was accused of ‘Hinduphobia’ in 2022 after the ABVP had accused them. Only last month, May 2024, the Supreme Court moved to quash the FIR and criminal charges against the Indore Law College teacher and a publisher accused of promoting the “anti-national book” in question. The case reached the court after Dr. Rahman, one of the accused, had filed a Special Leave Petition challenging the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s decision to not to stay the FIR against him.

The ABVP had similarly organised protests against Dr. Rahman in the college, accusing Muslim teachers at the college of promoting fundamentalism. The Indore police had then filed the FIR in December 2022 following the ABVP’s that Dr. Rahman had discussed a “controversial” book found in the college’s library. The Supreme Court called the allegations “absurd” and a case of “persecution” and squashed the charges.



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