About 40 students, seated on newspapers and 'armed' with books and notepads, attended the class.
Dr Neeraj Hatekar was suspended on January 4 after he went spoke to the media against the varsity Vice Chancellor Rajan Welukar and blamed him for the erosion in the university's academic status. The university suspended him and accused him of "misconduct and moral turpitude."
Ever since the professor was suspended, the varsity saw a number of protests by students and teachers. Students boycotted classes and demanded their professor back.
"They come from all over the country and get disappointed when they realize I am not teaching. They wanted to learn some aspects of economics and I didn't want to spend money on hiring a hall, so here we are," Dr Hatekar told NDTV.
Staffers and teachers of the university have been supporting the professor. Students allege that Hatekar, who is widely respected as a teacher of game theory and microeconomics, was punished without being given a chance to defend himself.
A Facebook page 'Save the Mumbai University' has been asking
more people to join in the protest. The Aam Aadmi Party's Mumbai
unit has already joined the protests and Mayank Gandhi of AAP
actively participated in
many protests against the varsity's stand.
The professor has approached the Bombay High Court against the "arbitrary and illegal" suspension order.
However, the university is unnerved and had defended its action. "Professor Hatekar maligned the university," said Registrar RA Khan. "Why didn't he approach us with these issues in the past three years?"