The Jawaharlal Nehru University on Monday issued a statement warning students to refrain from any violence, ANI reported. This came after several students at the university were injured when clashes broke out on Sunday evening, allegedly over meat being served in a hostel mess on the Hindu festival of Ram Navami.

Taking serious note of the violence, Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit, the rector and other officials visited Kaveri hostel, where the incident happened, and met the students.

The vice-chancellor conveyed to the students that “no violence will be tolerated on the campus”, and appealed to maintain peace and harmony.

The university security has been briefed to be vigilant in preventing such violent incidents, and wardens have been instructed to take immediate steps to prevent any confrontation between the groups, said a letter shared by the JNU administration.

Members of the Left student bodies outfits had alleged that those affiliated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi, the student affiliate of the Bharatiya Janata Party, tried to stop meat from being cooked in the university’s Kaveri Hostel. Meanwhile, the Hindutva student organisation accused Left activists of disrupting a religious ceremony to mark Ram Navami and called it a planned event.

“JNU administration reiterates its resolve for the zero tolerance towards any form of violence on campus,” said the letter on Sunday. “The students are also warned to refrain from involving in such incidents which disturb the peace and harmony on campus.”

The students were informed that anyone found culpable in violence will be liable for disciplinary action according to university rules.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association also condemned the incident, reported NDTV.

The incident

The JNU Students’ Union and ABVP have both taken out separate marches inside the university campus to condemn the violence, which they have blamed each other for, reported NDTV.

Left-affiliated student bodies alleged that 50 to 60 of their members were injured. The ABVP claimed that about 20 were wounded, including 8 to 10 of its members.

The police have registered a first information report in the matter and said that six students were wounded.

The Left-controlled JNU Students Union alleged that around 4 pm on Sunday, members of the ABVP stopped a vendor from supplying chicken to the mess of the Kaveri hostel, saying that a havan was being held.

In a letter to the Dean of Students at the university, the student-run Kaveri Hostel mess committee, which decides the menu, made the same allegations.

Meanwhile, the ABVP said that a puja to mark Ram Navami was to be held at 3.30 pm on Sunday, but due to the “ruckus created by the Leftists”, it started only at 5 pm.

They said that they are not against non-vegetarian food being served in the mess, and everyone is free to eat what they want.

“This act of politicising a religious celebration by Left, is a shameful act and ABVP condemns it from core,” it said.

One of the students alleged that she sustained an injury in her hand after being attacked by “Leftist students” without any reason.

Akhtarista Ansari, a JNUSU student who suffered a head injury, alleged that she was hit by ABVP members with sticks, and the left student group never stopped any Ram Navami pooja, reported NDTV.

The police have said that six people who suffered injuries have been taken to a hospital. They added that they received a complaint from Left-affiliated student bodies against unknown ABVP supporters.

The police have registered a case under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), Section 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (molestation) and 34 (acts done with a common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.