40 Students detained for protesting against 'ban' on non-veg food at DU's Hansraj College: SFI

Agitators gathered outside Hansraj College to protest against the 'ban' of non-vegetarian food. Students claim that college refused entry and locked gates.

Hansraj College (Image: Official website)Hansraj College (Image: Official website)

Press Trust of India | January 20, 2023 | 06:01 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Forty students staging a demonstration outside DU's Hansraj College against a "ban" on non-vegetarian food were allegedly detained by police on Friday, a students' organisation representative said.

Scores of protesters had gathered outside the college to protest against the decision but the students claimed that the college refused them entry and locked its gates. According to the police, there were around 30 to 35 students protesting against the ban.

The Hansraj College unit of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) on Wednesday called for a protest outside the college hostel against the “discontinuation” of non-vegetarian food at the institution "We began our protest peacefully. However, the college administration did not let us in. They have shut all gates and no officials are coming out to talk to us," SFI activist Sama said.

Also Read | DU’s Hansraj College stopped serving non-veg food, no complaints from students: Report

"We wish to submit a memorandum but they are not allowing us entry," she added. Deputy Commissioner of Police (north) Sagar Singh Kalsi said, "The protesting students were asked to disperse from the spot, however, when they did not disperse, 14 to 15 students were detained and later released." The students had said Hansraj College stopped serving non-vegetarian food at its canteen and hostel after it reopened following the pandemic in February last year.

The SFI has claimed that there have also been instances where the Hansraj administration confiscated eggs from students who brought them to the hostel. The majority of students of Hansraj are against this ban on non-vegetarian food and see this as an attempt to establish cultural hegemony, the student group said. Hansraj College principal Rama Sharma has refused to withdraw the order despite facing widespread criticism and asserted the DU constituent college follows Arya Samaj's philosophy.

Speaking to PTI, Sharma has also claimed that 90 per cent of the students are vegetarian and they had earlier protested over non-veg food being served in the hostel. "We are not going to withdraw the notice regarding non-veg food. It is an Arya Samaj college. We have our philosophy and that is why we won't serve non-veg food. We conduct 'havan' regularly. We follow our rules. It is written in the hostel prospectus that non-veg food will not be served in the hostel," she had said.

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