JNU admin breaks silence, says clashes began after students objected to ‘havan’ inside hostel on Ram Navami

A day after an altercation took place between two groups of students on campus, the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration broke its silence Monday and said the “scuffle” had begun with some students objecting to the holding of ‘havan’ inside the Kaveri Hostel on the occasion of Ram Navami – an allegation first made by the right-wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Students on the Left and others, however, had alleged that the ABVP had first indulged in violence as they did not want non-vegetarian food to be cooked and served in the hostel mess. On that, JNU Registrar Ravikesh said it had been clarified that there was “no bar” on serving non-vegetarian food.

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“There was a scuffle in the JNU campus on April 10, 2022 between student groups. It was the occasion of Rama Navami and ‘hawan ‘ was organized by the students in the Kaveri hostel and there were students who were objecting to this. The wardens and the Dean of Students tried to pacify and the hawan was concluded peacefully. Despite this, some groups of students were not happy with this and soon after, at the time of dinner, a ruckus was created over there and heated arguments were followed by altercation between both the groups in the Kaveri hostel, ”he said in a statement. .

“Mess is run by the student committee and the administration has nothing to do with the menu. The wardens clarified on the spot and issued a notice when the ruckus was going among students that there is no bar on serving non vegetarian food, ”the registrar said.

He also said that after the incident, the JNU administration “immediately swung into action” with Vice Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit visiting the hostel late at night. “We appeal to everyone to exercise restraint and let the academic environment flourish in JNU without any external disturbances,” he said.

The ABVP and the Left led JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) continued to trade charges against each other Monday, with the ABVP claiming that non-vegetarian food was being used as a “diversionary tactic”. Rohit Kumar, unit president, said, “Leftists wanted to disrupt Ram Navami puja. We have nothing against non-veg being served. In other hostels non veg was served. But we do have a problem if Leftists force it. One week back it was decided by the Mess Committee after a GBM (general body meeting) that non veg would not be served in Kaveri. “

Mess secretary Raghib, however, refuted this. The mess committee is an elected student body. “If there was a GBM, there should be some poster of it, or some minutes of the GBM. There is no evidence because there was no such meeting. We decide the menu for the whole month at the beginning of the month. It’s not decided on a day to day basis. ABVP has politicized the whole issue. Every year non veg is served. There has never been a problem. “

Navin Kumar, Kaveri hostel president from Congress’s NSUI said, “The menu was pre-decided but the vendor who came to deliver the chicken was heckled and shooed away. More than half of the hostel residents were supposed to eat non veg for dinner but they couldn’t because ABVP did not allow. The Ram Navami puja was held without any problem. Nobody objected to it being held. I also attended it and ate prasad after that. ”

The JNUSU said students, including common hostel residents, were attacked by the ABVP. “They hit us with anything they could get their hands on – flower pots, lathis, sweepers, bricks, stones. Two guards were also injured in the attack. The police was standing there but they didn’t do anything. It is the same people who also indulged in violence on January 5, 2020 but no action was taken against them, ”said JNUSU Counselor Apeksha Priyadarshini.

JNUSU had given a call for protest at the police headquarters demanding action against ABVP, but they were detained minutes after they began to protest.

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