Six students of a leading government-aided college here have been suspended for allegedly conducting a ‘beef festival’ inside the campus to protest against the lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh over rumours of eating beef.
According to the management of Sree Kerala Varma College, the action was taken against the students, all activists of Students Federation of India, for serving beef inside the campus violating disciplinary rules of the institution.
The activists of SFI, the students’ wing of CPI(M), had allegedly distributed beef and bread to students on October 1 as a symbolic protest against the beef ban initiated in some states and the gruesome killing of 50-year-old Iqlak, who was lynched at Dadri over beef eating rumours.
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College Principal, C M Latha, said non-vegetarian dishes are not served within the college even during official functions and she had warned SFI activists not to distribute beef as it was against the custom of the institution.
“We are not against students’ protests. But, in this case, I had warned students not to distribute beef within the campus and advised them to conduct the protest outside the college premises if they are so particular to do so,” she told PTI.
“Our college has a tradition of not serving non-vegetarian dishes even for official functions. So, the management felt that it was not fair to distribute beef within the campus,” she said.
The activists of SFI and ABVP, students’ wing of BJP, had even clashed with each other over the conduct of the ‘festival’ the same day.
ABVP activists, who opposed the fest, were allegedly beaten up SFI members and police registered FIR against 12 ‘unidentified’ students in this regard.
Latha said the action was taken also based on the news photos of the day and the police FIR.
The period of suspension would be decided by the disciplinary council of the college later, she added.
Founded by Maharaja of erstwhile Kochi state, Sree Kerala Varma College is now managed by Cochin Devaswom Board, an autonomous organisation under the state government.