New Delhi, (Asian independent) At least six students received minor injuries as clashes broke on Sunday at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here between the members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Left alliance over the serving of non-vegetarian food.
The clashes erupted on Sunday afternoon following an argument between the two groups.
The Left alliance members accused the ABVP of forcefully imposing a ban on non vegetarian food at the Kaveri Hostel in the campus while the ABVP alleged that the members of the Left alliance including the NSUI were not allowing them to conduct a Pooja and Havan programme on the occasion of Ram Navami.
Later, in the evening, the clashes further intensified and images of wounded students went viral on the social media.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest district) Manoj C. said the situation is now peaceful and both the student parties are protesting peacefully.
“Appropriate legal action will be taken on receipt of complaint,” the DCP said.
He said as many as six students were injured during the brawl.
“All received minor injuries,” the DCP, who is currently at the spot to pacify the situation, said.
The ABVP, in a statement, said residents of Kaveri Hostel had organised a ‘pooja’ to celebrate Ram Navami which was supposed to start at 3.30 p.m. but due to the ruckus created by Leftists it could only start at 5.00 p.m.
“We were not conducting any Pooja, rather it was organised by the common students of the Kaveri Hostel. From the past 9 days everything was going on peacefully but today the members of the Left organisation created a ruckus and were not allowing us to carry on with the Pooja,” ABVP national media convener Siddhartha Yadav told IANS.
He said that there was no issue of forcefully banning the non vegetarian food at the hostel, rather the members of the Left alliance had problems with students conducting a religious ceremony on the occasion of Ram Navami.
“The university witnessed a peaceful simultaneous celebration of Iftar and Ram Navami. This simultaneous celebration once again established the fact that JNU represents a microcosm of Bharat where different identities coexist peacefully. The Leftists, however, do not digest this fact,” he said.
Yadav said that ABVP JNU Joint Secretary Vikas Kumar was injured during the incident.
“His fingers were possibly fractured by the Leftist goons,” he said, adding another student named Ravi Raj received injuries on his head. “His head was struck with a flower pot,” said Yadav.
A girl student named Divya also received injuries on her hands.
Separately, the JNUSU, in a statement accused the ABVP of forcing and attacking the mess committee to change the dinner menu and exclude the usual non vegetarian items in it for all students.
“The menu has food items for both vegetarian and non vegetarian students who can consume it based on their personal choice. But, ABVP is using muscle power and its ‘goondaism’ to create a complete ruckus and reinforce their Brahamanical hegemonization ideals by manhandling the staff and asking to not prepare any non vegetarian items,” the JNUSU said.
It further said that JNU and its hostels are meant to be inclusive spaces for all and not one particular section.
Students from different physical, social and cultural backgrounds have different food preferences that must be respected and catered to.
“This act of ABVP only signifies their exclusionary politics and right wing Hindutva policies to hegemonise democratic and secular spaces like JNU,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the injured students were taken to Safdarjung hospital.