The Delhi University’s Hansraj College will not revoke its decision to not serve non-vegetarian food in the hostel and canteen as it follows the philosophy of the Arya Samaj, its principal Rama Sharma said on Wednesday, according to PTI.

Since the college re-opened in February last year after the Covid-19 lockdown, the administration has stopped serving non-vegetarian food to its students. Student bodies have protested against the decision over the last few weeks.

On Wednesday, Sharma claimed that 90% of the college’s students are vegetarian and they had earlier protested over non-vegetarian food being served in the hostel. She also denied students’ claims that no notice had been issued about the meat ban, saying that the hostel prospectus mentions that no non-vegetarian food will be served in the hostel.

“We are not going to withdraw the notice regarding non-veg food,” Sharma told PTI. “It is an Arya Samaj college. We have our philosophy and that is why we won’t serve non-veg food...We don’t ask St Stephen’s [college] to conduct ‘havan’, we don’t interfere with Khalsa College rules. Then why are we being questioned?”

The St Stephen’s College is a Christian-run institution, while the Khalsa College is a Sikh minority institution.

Meanwhile, students at the Hansraj College will hold a protest against the college administration on Friday, demanding that non-vegetarian food be served on the campus.

The Students’ Federation of India unit at the college has called the discontinuation of non-vegetarian food an attempt at “saffronising the campus”, reported PTI. The student body also said that a poll conducted in the college hostel showed that almost 75% of students consume non-vegetarian food.

“Chicken was served before the lockdown, but when the college resumed after the lockdown, they shut it down,” a second-year philosophy student told The Indian Express. “They don’t even serve eggs anymore.”

Another student from Central Africa had to leave the hostel and shift to a private accommodation because of the decision.