After controversy erupted over Cochin University College of Engineering authorities denying permission to north Indian students to conduct Saraswati Puja, the vice-chancellor allowed students to celebrate the festival with certain riders.
The vice chancellor of Cochin University College of Engineering in Kerala’s Alappuzha district said students would be allowed to conduct ‘Saraswati Puja’ in a peaceful manner without classes getting affected and no procession should enter the campus on the day of immersion, ANI reported.
In a notice issued on February 1, the joint registrar of Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) said, “It is informed that the request of North Indians students to conduct ‘Saraswati Pooja’ has been declined by the Vice-Chancellor, since ours is a secular campus and as such, we cannot permit religious function/activities of any religion inside campus.”
Last year, the college witnessed clashes between two groups of students over alleged serving of beef cutlets during an event on its campus. Classes at the college were suspended indefinitely following the clashes.
The controversy broke on January 25 when a student hailing from Bihar was reportedly served a beef cutlet in the name of a vegetarian dish as part of refreshments after a seminar on digital banking was held in the engineering campus. A group of north Indian students alleged that they were tricked into eating beef and that their ‘religious sentiments’ have been hurt.
The management then clarified that the event was organised by a private bank and therefore it had no hand in deciding the menu of the refreshments, the university official said. However, the north Indian students, reportedly aided by the ABVP, were firm on their demands for the principal of the college to be suspended.