The Hindu Sena on Thursday put up saffron flags and posters around the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi in retaliation for the violence that broke out on the campus on April 10 allegedly over meat being served in a hostel mess on Ram Navami.

The flags and posters put by the Hindutva group said “bhagwa [saffron] JNU”.

Vishnu Gupta, national president of Hindu Sena, claimed that “saffron and Hindutva” are being insulted inside the JNU campus on a regular basis, according to The Indian Express.

“Saffron is our culture, it is a symbol of our culture in the entire country, not just in Jawaharlal Nehru University,” he added. “Hindutva is our culture. The people of the country should not have any objection to saffron because the Supreme Court has also said that Hindu is our culture and it is our duty to safeguard it.”

He said those disturbed by their actions are “anti-nationals” and asked them to leave the country.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest) Manoj C said that officers had removed the flags and the banners from the adjoining areas of the university as soon as they came to know about it . “In view of the recent incidents, these were promptly removed and suitable legal action is being taken,” he added.

In response to the Delhi Police’s actions, Gupta said that removing the flags were akin to disrespecting the Constitution.

“Even the police should not be in such a hurry to take down saffron flags,” he said, according to The Indian Express. “Saffron is not a symbol of terror that the police are showing haste. It is the right of the law to protect saffron and Hindutva.”

Meanwhile, in a video circulating on social media, Hindu Sena National Vice President Sujit Yadav warned people not to “disrespect saffron”, The Quint reported.

He added, “We respect you, we respect all faiths, and we respect all ideologies. But the way in which saffron is being insulted in JNU, Hindu Sena will not tolerate it. We can take harsh steps to deal with the same.”

The violence

The flags and banners were put up days after the violence erupted in the campus on Sunday.

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 the 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.

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 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.