Published: 11th April 2022
Violence as means of 'punishing difference' has no place here: JNUTA on clash between students
Several purported videos of the violence surfaced on social media, with one of them showing a student, Akhtarista Ansari, bleeding from the head
The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers' Association (JNUTA) released a statement condemning the clash that broke out in the Kaveri Hostel mess on Sunday, April 10, allegedly over the incident of serving chicken at dinner on the day of Ram Navami, and also demanding that the Vice-Chancellor take a decision on the matter. In a statement issued late Sunday night, the JNUTA said it will ascertain the full sequence of events and the factual details and report back to the campus community.
"JNUTA expresses its outrage at any effort to impose the food preferences of any group over others. The use of violence as a means of punishing difference has no place within a university community," read the statement. The safety of students and the staff who work for the university has to be fully ensured, it said. "The JNU Vice-Chancellor and her team, as well as the security forces, must personally intervene to end this violence immediately and to reaffirm the principles of pluralism and celebration of difference that this university stands for," they said.
On Sunday, two groups of students clashed at the Jawaharlal Nehru University's Kaveri Hostel allegedly over serving non-vegetarian food on Ram Navami. Six students were injured in the violence. Several purported videos of the violence surfaced on social media, with one of them showing a student, Akhtarista Ansari, bleeding from the head. Officials have not yet confirmed the authenticity of these videos.
The JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) on Sunday, alleged that Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members stopped the mess vendor from supplying chicken to the mess and attacked the vendor in the afternoon. However, the right-wing ABVP denied the said charge and claimed that Leftists obstructed a puja programme organised at the hostel on Ram Navami. Both sides accused each other of pelting stones and injuring their members.
According to Sidharth Yadav, secretary of ABVP in Delhi, there was also an iftar party going on simultaneously. He argued that the issue of veg and non-veg had nothing to do with what happened on the spot and that the left-leaning organisations were unable to bear a large number of students organising the puja which didn't align with their thoughts.