Vegetarian food cooked in oil used for non-veg dishes say students, AMU denies charges

Shafey Kidwai, the spokesperson of the AMU added that according to the preliminary inquiries conducted by the provost, it was found out that the allegations are "completely baseless".

A controversy has erupted in the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Monday after a group of vegetarian students staged protests alleging that vegetarian food is being served after being cooked in oil used to prepare non-vegetarian dishes.

According to the reports, students residing in Sir Syed Hall (North) have written a letter to the vice-chancellor, alleging that they were served vegetarian food cooked using the same oil which has been allegedly used to prepare non-vegetarian dishes. The group of students have demanded the university administration to take strict action against the provost for his negligence.

The incident came to light on Sunday when Bhartiya Yuva Morcha’s city unit chief Nikhil Maheshwari issued a statement alleging that it was a “deliberate ploy” to hurt the sentiments of Hindus. On Sunday, a police complaint was also filed at the Banna Devi police station.

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Reportedly, on November 26, ‘chicken fry’ was prepared at SS North Hostel and same oil had been allegedly used to prepare ‘Poori’ hurting sentiments of vegetarian students.

“One of the hostellers had informed me about this and the provost of the hall was apprised about the matter. But no heed was paid to the issue thus it was addressed to the vice-chancellor through the mail on November 30,” said Somveer Singh, a student at AMU.

The aggrieved students have also written a letter to the President of India in this regard and the matter is also communicated to the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Minister for Human Resources Development (HRD), stated Somveer Singh.

However, the AMU authorities have rejected the allegations claiming that respect for religious sentiments of all students was the hallmark of the university’s secular traditions from the time of its foundation. Shafey Kidwai, the spokesperson of the AMU added that according to the preliminary inquiries conducted by the provost, it was found out that the allegations are “completely baseless”.

He further said that four members of the cooking staff have confirmed to the university that “fresh cooking oil released by the kitchen stock was used for cooking the entire vegetarian meal”.

Aligarh Muslim University, one of the oldest educational institutions of the country have often been embroiled in controversies. In May 2018, a massive controversy had erupted after it was found out that AMU had placed Pakistani founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait in the Student Union Hall.

The AMU students’ union had in the past objected to the University Administration’s invite to President Ramnath Kovind for the convocation ceremony. The University again hogged the limelight when one of its students was found to have joined the terror organisation Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

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