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After ban, Kerala college grants permission for ‘Saraswati puja’

The registrar of the Cochin University College of Engineering in Alappuzha on Thursday granted permission for students to conduct ‘Saraswati puja’, revoking a decision to ban all religious activities after it kicked off a controversy.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2019 21:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala,college,Saraswati
The registrar of the Cochin University College of Engineering in Alappuzha on Thursday granted permission for students to conduct ‘Saraswati puja’, revoking a decision to ban all religious activities after it kicked off a controversy. (ANI/REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

The registrar of the Cochin University College of Engineering in Alappuzha on Thursday granted permission for students to conduct ‘Saraswati puja’, revoking an earlier decision to ban all religious activities after it kicked off a controversy.

The registrar said all religious activities and festivals were banned on the campus after they led to clashes between two groups of students. If students can do ‘Saraswati puja’ without disrupting classes or provocative processions, they can conduct the puja. He said earlier minor incidents had resulted in major clashes and the college took the decision to avert such situations.

Last year, the college had witnessed violent clashes between students after one group served beef cutlets during a college festival in the guise of serving vegetable cutlets.

The college was closed indefinitely and later opened only after brokering an agreement that religious festivals won’t be allowed on the campus, he said.

Controversy erupted again last week when the joint registrar issued a notice banning ‘Saraswati puja:’ it is informed that that request of north Indian students to conduct ‘Saraswati puja’ has been declined by the Vice-Chancellor, since our campus is a secular campus, and as such we can’t permit religious functions /activities of any religion inside the campus.”

After this notice was posted on social media it triggered widespread protests. Some Sangh Parivar outfits have threatened to launch an agitation outside the college if the notice was not withdrawn.

First Published: Feb 07, 2019 21:23 IST