The tale of 3 Pandeys, IIT BHU, and a grim case

It’s all fun in movies, but when an incident strikes in real, a rather unpleasant one wherein the key players bear the same surname, it ceases to be funny. More so, when the complainant, the accused and an important party in the case are all named Pandey.

The IIT BHU case (link) that has had its share of publicity, and not so much glory, has three Pandeys – namely Prof Sandeep Pandey (who filed the court case against the Board of Governors (BoG) at IIT BHU), Prof Dhananjay Pandey (a member of the BoG), and Avinash Pandey (the student who complained to the BHU officials about Prof Sandeep Pandey).

Pandey, as Wikipedia would explain, is a surname of the Hindu Brahmin communities of Northern and Central India, as well as of both Brahmin and Chhetri families of Nepal. So, it is not too uncommon a surname. However, what is intriguing in this case is that there are Pandeys on either side of the argument.

It all started when Prof Sandeep Pandey decided to screen the banned Nirbhaya documentary “India’s Daughter” in his class last year. This did not go down quite well with the IIT BHU officials and the screening was stopped. That’s when Avinash Pandey, who was not present in that class, filed a complaint to the BHU officials. Post the complaint, Prof Dhananjay Pandey, along with the other members of the Board of Governors, decided to terminate the teaching contract of Prof Sandeep Pandey. 

This pushed Prof Sandeep Pandey to knock the court’s doors. Prof Pandey explained to PaGaLGuY, “My contract was terminated because of ideological conflicts. I will take the BoG to task for defaming me.” When PaGaLGuY asked Prof Dhananjay Pandey the reason behind expelling Prof Sandeep Pandey, he said, “I cannot comment on this issue because apart from being the Dean of Faculty Affairs, I also serve IIT BHU as a faculty.”

Meanwhile, Avinash Pandey, the student who initiated the entire Pandey process and filed the complaint to BHU officials, told PaGaLGuY that he was not present in class when the so-called documentary was shown.

As for the progress in court – the court is yet to give its verdict as to which Pandey it holds true.

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