The students claimed that this was the principal’s way of getting back at them when they conducted a Saraswati Puja on campus without his permission.

Kerala college students allege principal tricked them into eating beef to satisfy egoCollege of Engineering Kuttand (CUCEK)
news Controversy Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 16:56

A few vegetarian students of a Kerala college have accused the principal of deceiving them into allegedly eating beef at an event held on campus, on Thursday. 

A number of students of Cochin University College of Engineering Kuttand (CUCEK), in Alappuzha, hailing from several northern states and members of the BJP's student wing, ABVP, have said that the principal, Dr Sunil Kumar, "left no stone unturned in hurting the religious sentiments of the north Indian students”.

They have now approached the District Magistrate seeking action against Dr Kumar, alleging that he tried to "satisfy his ego" by tricking them into eating beef. This, the students claim, was done after they organised a Saraswati Puja in the college earlier this week, against the principal’s orders to call it off. 

The beef story

According to the students, beef cutlets were served during a seminar conducted on the college premises on January 25. They asked if it was vegetarian and, on being assured it was, they ate the cutlets.

Speaking to TNM, one of the students who complained to the DM said: 

"We asked them repeatedly whether it was vegetarian and the staff assured us it was. So we ate the cutlets. But after some time, a few Malayali students said that it was beef cutlets that were served." 

The students allege that it was a conspiracy to make them eat beef. 

"Otherwise, during seminars conducted in college, they never give any snacks without taking a registration fee from us. This time they gave tea and snacks for free, which means the principal had already planned to cheat us," one student claimed.

However, Dr Kumar denied the allegations while speaking to TNM.

He said that the seminar was not organised by the college, but by a forum of retired bank employees. He emphasised that the organisers had told the students that both vegetarian and beef cutlets were being served. 

"They might have eaten it by mistake, but I am sure they were told that beef cutlets were also being served at the seminar. Beef is not served at out college canteen and if the snacks were taken from there, I could have been answerable. But this event was organised by outsiders and they handled all the expenses, including the budget for refreshments. Now, the students have not raised a complaint with me or the university, but have directly approached the DM. If they indeed wanted to solve the issue, they would have raised a complaint with the university," he said. 

The third-year engineering student who spoke to TNM, however, alleged that Dr Kumar was "satisfying his ego" by tricking them into eating beef. 

"Every year we conduct Saraswati Puja with the college’s permission. But this year, it coincided with an ABVP strike protesting the killing of an ABVP member in Kannur. The principal withdrew permission to hold the puja, but we went ahead and conducted it without causing any issues. The next day, on January 23, after we took out a procession (to protest the killing of the ABVP man) and one student was suspended for doing so," said the student, who requested anonymity. 

Dr Kumar told TNM that the "conditional" permission was withdrawn when the ABVP strike disrupted classes. While permission was given to carry out the procession in the morning – before the classes commenced – this was also not followed, the principal said. 

"They carried out the procession during class hours and that's why the student who sought permission was suspended," he said. 

However another student took to Twitter to explain their version of the events.

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