Bengaluru: Students of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) staged protests after a Muslim professor Firoze Khan was appointed to teach Sanskrit. 
Many in the university have now openly started speaking in favour of Professor Firoze Khan.

Counter protests were also held in favour of Professor Khan on Wednesday evening, saying the protest against him should end and he should be immediately allowed to start teaching the language. 

The march started from the main gates of the university, popularly known as the Lanka gate, and over 100 students under the banner of Joint Action Committee - BHU attended the march. The students held a banner during the march which read, "We are with you Dr Firoze Khan". 

Professor Khan was appointed to the post of Assistant Professor in the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vijnan faculty at BHU on November 5 but has been unable to teach because students at the faculty have sat on a protest outside the residence-cum-office of the university's vice-chancellor, demanding his appointment be cancelled as, according to them, non-Hindu cannot teach in such a specialised department.

The university administration issued a fresh press release on Wednesday night, asking protesting students at the Sanskrit department to resume classes immediately.

National spokesperson of the BJP Gopal Agarwal said, “We are with the Muslim professor. Who ever has expressed interest in the language and is qualified, must be allowed to teach.”

Hindu seers in the area have come out in support of the family after the BHU row.

"This is very condemnable that a person who is highly qualified in Sanskrit and got appointed on merit is being opposed only because he is Muslim. This intolerance should be stopped," said Saurabh Raghvendracharya, a `sadhu' from the Raghunath Dham temple near Bagru.

"All our religious functions and the temple aarti are incomplete without Ramzan Khan. People in large numbers turn up to listen to him. He does it all in dedication to Krishna bhakti and never expects anything in return," said Mohan Lal Sharma, a priest from another temple.