IIT Bombay students march in support of IIT Madras scholar assaulted over ‘beef fest’
Mumbai city news: Similar protests were carried out in other parts of the country, including Kerala, against the ban on slaughter of cattle that many claimed hurt millions poor farmers and meat traders.mumbai Updated: Jun 01, 2017 01:05 IST
Around 80 students from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) organised a protest march to show solidarity with an IIT-Madras scholar. R Sooraj was allegedly thrashed on Sunday for participating in a ‘beef festival’ at the Madras campus.
The protest was unusual as IIT-Bombay students generally stay away from contentious socio-political issues. A student who attended the event said that it was a spontaneous protest and wasn’t organised by any particular group. “We all participated in it because we felt strongly about it,” said the student, not wishing to be named.
The protestors held placards and chanted slogans, demanding justice for Sooraj. They also condemned incidents of violence in the name of cow protection. They asserted that choosing one’s food was a fundamental right.
“We don’t see this attack as a spontaneous response to local issue but as an organised effort to silence voices rising against the brahamanical views. Now we are forced to speak up and fight back because the use of violence, intimidation and hooliganism has spread to IITs as well,” read a statement from the students.
On Sunday, a group of 70 to 80 students at IIT-Madras held a beef festival to protest against the central government’s ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter. The students wanted to show that they had a right to choose their food.
Similar protests were carried out in other parts of the country, including Kerala, against the controversial rule that many claimed hurt millions poor farmers and meat traders.
Kerala and West Bengal have rejected the notification and called it a violation of India’s federal structure.
The protesters also voiced concern over attempts to silence dissenting voices on the campuses by right-wing forces. “Instead of becoming open to new ideas, our universities are becoming tools in the hands of brahminical fascists who have no regard for the spirit of democracy,” read the statement issued by the IIT-Bombay