The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has suspended one student and served show cause notices to another three for planning to hold a beef and pork festival and for allegedly causing unrest in the campus.
The beef and pork festival was being planned on the JNU campus around September end. The Delhi High Court, however, ruled that no such festival should be allowed as per the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994.
The students, two of who are part of The New Materialists group that was planning to hold the festival, were given notices last week.
"I have no idea on what basis has the administration issued us notices. The festival never took place. We just want to have a discussion about the right of a person to eat food of his/her choice. The inquiry set up against us is a way to scuttle our freedom of expression," said Abhay Kumar, one of the three students who was issued a show cause notice.
Many students, now, have started an indefinite hunger strike to protest against the move.
The students who are sitting on strike have demanded that the suspension and the show cause notices be revoked, that the JNU administration stop using terror tactics to scuttle freedom of expression and that action be taken against the communal forces on campus.
The JNU administration has justified its action."When Anoop, the student who was suspended, announced that the festival will be held on the campus, it caused a lot of unrest and tension. It disturbed the environment of the university and this is the reason the students were suspended and issued show cause notices," said SK Sopory, Vice Chancellor, JNU.
An enquiry committee has been set up to look into the matter.