A group of students on Wednesday evening led a solidarity march in the Banaras Hindu University in support of a Muslim assistant professor whose appointment in the Sanskrit faculty is being opposed by some students on grounds of his religious identity.Under the banner of the Joint Action Committee, BHU, a common platform for non-ABVP student groups, the students displayed banners and placards declaring their support for Feroze Khan, who was appointed on November 5 but has been unable to teach in the Sahitya (literature) department of the Sanskrit Vidya Dharm Vigyan Faculty of the university due to the protests.“We are with you,” and “language has no relationship with religion,” read some of the banners at the rally in support of Mr. Khan, held from the Lanka Gate to Ravidas Gate near the central university campus. Those supporting Mr. Khan demanded that the university ensure his security and take responsibility for him, while allowing him to start teaching.“Discrimination in the name of religion and caste in the university is unconstitutional. Even BHU founder Madan Mohan Malviya said that India belongs not just to Hindus but also Muslims, Sikh, Jain and Christians,” said Raj Abhishek, convenor of the JAC in a statement.The support rally in favour of Mr. Khan came after reports that he had left the campus and returned to his home in Rajasthan due to insecurity.While Head of the Sahitya Department Umakant Chaturvedi did not take phone calls, Mr. Khan’s colleague Shanti Lal Salavi said he had gone out of town for personal reasons and informed his department superiors about it. Mr. Khan did not respond to phone calls.Mr. Salavi said while Mr. Khan was unable to teach in the faculty, whose gates have been shut since November 7, his attendance was being marked by the registrar. Since November 7, professors have been coming to the faculty only to find it shut, he said.Notice to resume classesThe professor said that on Wednesday the Dean of the faculty asked professors to serve notice to Ph.D scholars not to participate in the protests and help in resuming classes as exams were coming up. Mr. Salavi also came out in support of Mr. Khan and said the students were making comments that went against the rules. “This is conservatism, nothing else. But only some students are protesting, the neta (political leader) types,” he said.