The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday filed a first information report against a Dalit professor at the Lucknow University for allegedly making objectionable remarks about the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, ANI reported.

Ravi Kant, who is an associate professor at the Hindi department of the university, was booked based on a complaint filed by a student named Aman Dubey at the city’s Hasanganj Police Station.

In his complaint, Dubey alleged that the remarks made by the professor during an online debate for a news website had hurt the sentiments of Hindu students on campus, according to The Wire. Kant was speaking about the dispute surrounding the Kashi Vishwanath temple and Gyanvapi mosque complex.

Kant claimed that he had not given his personal opinion during the debate but had quoted a story from the book Feathers and Stones written by B Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the Hindustan Times reported.

Kant was charged under Sections 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion etc.), 504 (intentional insult with the intent to prove a breach of peace), 505 (2) (statements conducive to public mischief committed in a place of worship) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act.

Earlier on Tuesday, a protest was organised against Kant by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on the Lucknow University campus, The Indian Express reported.

ABVP campus president Pradeep Kumar Maurya said some students had met Kant when he was inside the proctor’s office and had asked him to apologise for his remarks.

“He [Kant] came out in the presence of proctorial board members and expressed regret over his remark,” Maurya added, according to The Indian Express. “The students were pacified. However, a few minutes later, Kant posted on social media that the ABVP wanted to ‘lynch’ him. Then we again started a demonstration and demanded that the LU administration sack him because he is spreading hatred on campus.”

Kant claimed that an edited video of the debate was being shared on social media as propaganda against him.

“At the proctorial board office, I made it clear to the students that their confusion would be cleared if they watch the full video,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “I expressed regret for what I said in the TV debate if I hurt other sentiments.”

The professor also said that he was being targeted because he is a Dalit.

“Some savarna [upper caste] teachers are behind this,” he alleged. “When I was inside the proctor’s office, students were knocking loudly on the seemed as if they wanted to lynch me. I wrote about this on social media but deleted the post later.”

Videos shared on social media of the incident showed students shouting slogans against Kant.

In one video, a group of students, reportedly outside the procter’s office, were heard shouting “desh ke gaddaron ko goli maaro saalon ko” or shoot the traitors in presence of police officers.

Kant said he has filed a complaint at the local police station against several students, The Indian Express reported.

In the complaint, Kant said that members of the ABVP and “other unruly elements” had distorted his remark and did propaganda against him on social media.

Meanwhile, Lucknow University spokesperson Durgesh Srivastava said that a notice has been served to Kant to explain his remarks in the video, according to the Hindustan Times. He has been asked to reply within three days.

Srivastava also denied claims that students misbehaved or tried to attack Kant inside the campus.