Professor Jeetrai Hansda
Professor Jeetrai Hansda Image Credit: Supplied

Patna: An Indian professor has been arrested by the police in the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Jharkhand state two years after he had posted comments on his Facebook page, supporting his community’s right to eat beef.

Jeetrai Hansda, currently working as a professor with Jamshedpur Cooperative College, was arrested from a hotel in Jharkhand on Saturday night and was soon moved to jail. He was arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

“He had been evading arrest for long but we finally managed to arrest the professor on Saturday night,” a police official told the media on Tuesday.

Strangely, the arrest comes shortly after the results of the Lok Sabha elections were out on Thursday, which declared the BJP returning to power with huge majority in the Lok Sabha polls. A story doing the rounds in the political circles said his arrest was intentionally delayed so that the action against him could not annoy the tribal voters who dominate the Jharkhand state.

As such, Hansda, then working as an associate professor with Graduate College in Jamshedpur, had written the post on May, 2017. In his post, he had talked about his fellow Adivasi community’s tradition of eating beef and conducting ceremonial cow sacrifice. He had written that it was the democratic right of the tribal community to consume beef and also supported the beef party thrown by the IIT-Madras students in 2017 to protest restrictions imposed on cattle trade by the BJP government in New Delhi.

His post triggered strong protests on the campus with the activists of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the BJP, going on the rampage. Subsequently, he was terminated from service by the college administration while the local police also registered a case against him.