Professor Gopal Bahadur Bhattarai, campus chief of Dhankuta Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, was violently attacked by a group of Dhankuta professors, while en route to an academic conference on 17th December 2013. The attackers allegedly beat Professor Bhattarai, and smeared a black substance in his face. The attack reportedly arose out of a year-long labor dispute between progressive groups and Professor Bhattarai, over Professor Bhattarai’s recruitment of 13 temporary professors in December 2012.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of violence against scholars and faculty in the context of a professional dispute. While professors have the right to free expression and to air labor grievances, that right does not extend to violence against university faculty. Such grievances must be aired in a manner that is consistent with university values including social responsibility.