The Ministry of Education has sought a report from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi after violence broke out in the campus on Sunday allegedly over meat being served in a hostel mess on the Hindu festival of Ram Navami, PTI reported on Tuesday, citing an official. Several students were injured in the violence.
“As per standard procedures, a formal report has been sought about the clash between the student groups on the occasion of Ram Navmi and the unrest on campus,” an unidentified senior official of the education ministry said.
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. However, the Hindutva student organisation accused Left activists of disrupting a religious ceremony to mark Ram Navami and called it a planned event.
On Monday, the Jawaharlal Nehru University warned students against getting involved in incidents that disturb peace and harmony on campus. In a statement, 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 violence.
Hundreds of students affiliated with the All India Students Association staged a protest near the Delhi Police headquarters on Monday, demanding the arrest of ABVP members for their role in the violence, PTI reported.
The JNU Students’ Union and the ABVP have both taken out separate marches inside the university campus to condemn the violence, which they have blamed each other for.
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 members of the outfit.
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.
The police said that they received a complaint from Left-affiliated student bodies against unknown ABVP supporters.
The police have registered a case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (molestation) and 34 (acts done with a common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.