Prof Shoma Sen held for ‘Maoist links’ suspended by Nagpur university
Shoma Sen was the head of English department at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University
Bhima Koregaon violence

V-C says they have suspended Shoma Sen after learning from police that she has been detained under IPC sections

Prof Shoma Sen, who was recently arrested for alleged Maoist links, was suspended on Friday by Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU), where she was the head of English department.

On June 6, the Pune police probing the January 1 Bhima Koregaon violence, had arrested five people, including Sen, for allegedly having Maoist links.

Vice Chancellor of the university Dr SP Kane said that Sen has been suspended from the service till further orders. “She was suspended on the basis of information received from Pune police that she has been detained under various IPC sections,” Kane said while replying to a query. “Similarly, I had sought legal opinion on the issue and her suspension is also due to her remaining in police custody for more than 48 hours,” he said.

Besides Sen, Pune police had also arrested activist Mahesh Raut and lawyer Surendra Gadling from Nagpur, prominent Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai and Rona Wilson from his flat in Delhi.

The Pune police had earlier told a sessions court that the accused were allegedly involved in planning and executing a lecture series in JNU in Delhi “in the memory” of a Naxalite, who was killed in a police encounter, to instigate students to join the proscribed CPI (Maoist) outfit.

Sen’s husband Tusharkanti Bhattacharya was arrested from Nagpur station for alleged Naxal links in 2010. According to police, Dhawale was one of the organisers of Elgar Parishad, which was held to commemorate 200 years of the Bhima Koregaon battle on December 31 at Shaniwarwada.

Kabir Kala Manch activists had allegedly made provocative speeches at the event leading to violence at Bhima Koregaon in the district, according to an FIR registered at Vishrambaug police station after the event.

One person was killed in the caste violence between two groups near Sanaswadi, adjacent to Bhima Koregaon. The violence led to a statewide Dalit agitation.

The mobs had damaged and torched several vehicles and shops on New Year’s day and the houses of local residents were also ransacked.