Police arrested four Kashmiri students in Chittorgarh on Tuesday for disturbing public order, a day after they were involved in a scuffle with some locals, who alleged they had cooked beef in their hostel room.
Police said the meat did not appear to be beef. A Mewar University official said they have a policy against cooking or serving non-vegetarian food on campus.
The four students — Shakib Ashraf, Hilal Farukh, Mohammad Maqbool and Shaukat Ali — were released on bail Wednesday after being presented before the magistrate. The students were also charged with assaulting a journalist and damaging his equipment.
“It was a preventive arrest. We had to arrest them because they were resisting interrogation. There is no case against them regarding the meat as prima facie the meat was not beef. It was not even any other prohibited meat. We are fairly certain about that. But since we are not experts, we have sent it for forensic testing,” Chittorgarh SP P K Khamesara told The Indian Express.
Khamesara denied local reports that the students had been beaten up. “In fact, the students beat up a journalist who has filed a police complaint. The journalist has filed a case against unknown Kashmiri students for assault. But he has not named anyone. We are yet to investigate that so that has nothing to do with the arrest,” he said.
The students were arrested Tuesday morning and spent the night inside the lock up at Gangrar police station, police sources said. Monday night’s scuffle happened after some locals alleged that the students were cooking beef in their hostel room. The university has about 700-800 students from J&K, many of whom gathered as word spread.
Some right-wing groups also reached the university and raised slogans against the administration, according to local news reports. Police subsequently brought the situation under control.
“We have students from 23 states. It is like a mini India. Sometimes, these small scuffles happen because people are from different socio-cultural backgrounds,” the university’s media liaison officer Harish Gurnani said. “We have a policy against cooking and serving non-vegetarian food inside university premises. But the police is investigating the matter. Initial probe has found the meat was not beef,” he said.