JNU Clash: Mess Representatives Say Menu Pre-Decided, Can’t Be Changed At Last Moment

JNU Clash: A day after a clash between two groups of students over serving of non-vegetarian food at JNU’s Kaveri Hostel mess, its representatives said Monday the menu is pre-decided and cannot be changed at the last moment “without the consent of hostel residents”.

The JNU Students’ Union, which is led by Left-affiliated outfits, and right-wing ABVP clashed with each other at the hostel on Sunday over the issue of non-vegetarian food being served on Ram Navami.

The JNUSU alleged that ABVP members attacked students and mess staff for serving non-vegetarian food on Ram Navami, while the RSS-affiliated student body said Leftist disrupted a puja in the hostel on the occasion of Ram Navami.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) claimed on Monday that seven days ago there was a General Body Meeting (GBM) of Kaveri Hostel mess committee where it was “unanimously decided” that no non-vegetarian food will be cooked in the hostel mess on Sunday on the occasion of Ram Navami.

Rohit Kumar, ABVP JNU unit president, said Monday that seven days ago there was a General Body Meeting (GBM) of Kaveri Hostel mess committee where it was “unanimously decided” that no non-vegetarian food will be cooked in the hostel mess on Sunday on the occasion of Ram Navami.

“Muslim students were also in agreement with the decision. Three days back when the poster for Ram Navami puja was shared, students from the Left threatened to throw meat bones to disrupt the puja,” he said.

Kaveri Hostel mess secretary Raghib denied the ABVP claim.

“For the GBM to happen, it is decided 24 hours prior to the meeting that it will be convened. There is a written document and it has signatures. Can they show that document? he asked.

Former Kaveri Hostel president Navin Kumar said the mess menu is pre-decided and cannot be changed at the last moment. It can only be changed with the consent of the students, he added.

Kumar said that ABVP members were since 2 pm on Sunday trying to deny entry to a meat vendor, telling him that he won’t be allowed to supply meat here.

“He was asked to go away and the warden, Dean of Students told students it is your own matter’. It has been a norm that vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is prepared separately in the mess but they were trying to impose their food choice. In the evening when the puja happened, everyone had the prasad and the iftar also happened peacefully without any disruption,” he said.

Kumar said that from 7.30 pm to 9 pm, students come and eat in the mess every day.

“At 7.30 pm on Sunday, when students came and inquired about what they will eat, and as the warden thought about solving the issue, ABVP members came and they said we will not let you eat’. JNUSU came there to talk it out but the ABVP members attacked students,” he alleged.

Raghib claimed that on April 9, the hostel warden had told him that no non-vegetarian should be served the next day, the day of Ram Navami.

“I asked him to give it in writing but he didn’t do it. Later we asked the vendor to supply meat. When the vendor came, ABVP members closed the gate and told him that they won’t allow him to supply meat and threatened to end his contract even in other hostels,” he said.

Non-vegetarian food is served in the hostel mess on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and the menu is pre-decided at the beginning of the month, he said.

Raghib, who said he is not affiliated with any political outfit, accused the ABVP of “politicising the issue”.

“There are 400 students in the hostel and 170-180 of them eat non-vegetarian food. In the evening, ABVP members came and raised slogans like ‘Hindustan mein rehna hai, toh Jai Shri Ram kehna hoga’ (if you have to live in India, you have to raise slogan of Jai Shri Ram’, he said.

He also stressed that there was no permission taken for performing the puja, which the ABVP later claimed was disrupted by the Leftist . In a statement issued on Monday, the university said that the mess is run by the student committee and the administration has nothing to do with their 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 university said.

The warden issued a notice calling for peace and clarifying issues

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