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MIT Manipal initiates inquiry, suspends lecturer after controversy erupts over his alleged comment against a student

The video went viral after Washington Post columnist and donation fraud accused Rana Ayyub took to her Instagram handle to share the video

On Monday, November 28, the Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka’s Udupi district issued a statement in response to the controversy sparked by a video that went viral on social media. In the video, a lecturer from Manipal was being accused of making an inappropriate remark toward a Muslim student in his class. According to the statement issued by the university, an investigation has been launched, and the professor has been barred from teaching until the investigation is complete.

The controversy erupted after many social media users took to Twitter to share a video wherein an infuriated student is heard arguing with his professor, accusing him of belittling him because of his religious identity.

Though it is unclear what the professor allegedly said to spark the outrage, the irate student is repeatedly heard accusing his lecturer of labelling him a terrorist.

“26/11 is not funny… being Muslim and facing such things in this country is not funny. How can you label me as a terrorist in front of everyone in the class?” the angry student can be heard asking the professor, who in response is heard telling the student that he is like his son. However, not in the mood to relinquish, the agitated student added, “Will you call your son a terrorist? How can you call me that? That too in front of so many people.”

The video went viral after Washington Post columnist and donation fraud accused Rana Ayyub took to her Instagram handle to share the video with the comment, “A muslim student registers his protest after a professor refers to muslims as terrorists. I feel terribly terribly sorry for the young minds in India who are witnessing this prejudice and hate even in spaces that are meant to be safe and shield them from this bigotry that is all pervasive. Huge respect for this young boy but this is not the time for us to laud his courage. Why are our children being compelled to protest in spaces meant to be their safe havens, in spaces meant to be impartial. I cannot imagine the toll it must take on his emotional health. #islamophobia.”

The statement issued by MIT, Karnataka, read, “The institute has already initiated an inquiry into the incident and the concerned staff has been debarred from classes till the inquiry is over. We would like everyone to know that the institute does not condone this kind of behaviour and this isolated incident will be dealt with in accordance with the laid down policy.”

“The institute prides itself with one of the biggest diversity on campus and is committed to uphold our constitutional values of treating everyone alike, irrespective of their caste, religion, region, gender etc,” it added.

MIT statement

However, not everyone on social media agreed with Manipal’s reaction to social media controversy, with some users calling it a ‘joke’.

The institute in the southern state’s coastal region meanwhile has denounced the occurrence and ordered an investigation. According to an MIT official, “The lecturer has been barred from taking any further classes. An enquiry team has been formed to probe the incident.”

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