CHENNAI: A research scholar at IIT-Madras was thrashed by a group of students on Tuesday, reportedly because he had led Sunday's "beef fest" at the IIT-Madras (Indian Institute of Technology) campus against the Centre's cattle trade rules last week.
- Sooraj R received injuries on right eye, friends took him to hospital
- A group of students protested outside campus against the violence
- Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the incident
At the fest, around 80 students reportedly discussed the Central government's recent ban on sale of cattle for slaughter at cattle markets and ate beef as a mark of protest. Slaughter of cow and calf is banned in Tamil Nadu but there is no bar of slaughter of buffaloes, ox or bull.
The incident took place at the hostel mess around lunch when Sooraj R was asked by another student why got involved with the "beef fest". Around the same time, five-six other people surrounded Sooraj and started beating him up. Sooraj's received injuries in his right eye and was taken to hospital by his friends.
Later, a group of students protested outside the institute campus against the violence.
By evening, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also condemned the violence against a Malayali student and asked his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi K. Palaniswami to take necessary action.
An IIT Madras spokesperson said the institute had ordered a probe into the clash among two students. "Appropriate action will be taken after the inquiry," the spokesperson said, describing the fight as an "altercation" between two students. "Both students suffered injury and were given first-aid," the spokesperson said.
News of the fight came around the same time that the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court suspended the Centre's controversial rule that would have made it difficult for the Muslim-dominated meat industry to source meat. The court directive would be in force for four weeks.
Neighbouring Kerala, one of the first states to react to the Centre's cattle rules, had complained to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Centre has overstepped its jurisdiction in introducing restrictions on sale of cattle.
Animal husbandry is a state subject under the constitution. But the environment ministry had introduced the restrictions under a central law for prevention of cruelty to animals.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister the E Palaniswami hasn't spoken his mind on the central move, but opposition DMK led by the party's working president MK Stalin had announced one for May 31 against the Centre's "snatching away" the fundamental right to choice of food.