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Stephen's war on chicken rolls

Days after the controversy over the attendance of Unmukt Chand died down, the alumni and staff of St Stephen's College have raised their voice against the principal for disallowing the "historical" Rohtas Dhaba from selling chicken and vegetable rolls. Mallica Joshi reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 14, 2012 00:05 IST
Mallica Joshi

Days after the controversy over the attendance of Under-19 cricket world cup winning captain Unmukt Chand died down, the alumni and staff of St Stephen's College have raised their voice against the principal for disallowing the "historical" Rohtas Dhaba from selling chicken and vegetable rolls.

The dhaba, located right outside the college cafeteria, has been part of the St Stephen's campus for decades. It is extremely popular with the alumni.

The issue relates to the number of items the dhaba is allowed to sell. The college administration has asked the owner to either restrict its sale to just four items or leave the campus.

"Rohtas Dhaba was always allowed to sell only four items - nimbu paani, samosa, gulab jamun and barfi. He started selling chicken and vegetable rolls and I asked him to stop. We have a college cafeteria. Today he is selling rolls, tomorrow he will sell hamburgers and day after liquor. Who knows what the next step is. At any cost he has no right of any kind," said principal Valson Thampu.

But the Association of Old Stephanians (of which MP Sandeep Diskhit is a part), along with members of the staff, have taken a strong exception to the action.

"Rohtas Dhaba is a phenomenon and all our eminent alumni make it a point to get themselves photographed with him, as the dhaba is considered part of Stephanian lore and heritage. Further, the treatment being meted out to Rohtas is at variance with humanitarian principles," a statement issued by the association said.

The principal, however, dismissed the issue.

"This is a misrepresentation of everything that has happened in order to malign the college. The people who are crying hoarse now are not going to lift a finger to help Rohtas. They are just using him to vent against the college," he said.