After first denying permission for Saraswati Puja to a group of North Indian students studying in Cochin University College of Engineering in Kuttanad, the university has now allowed them to conduct the puja, including visarjan.
Several students had launched protests objecting to the new vice-chancellor's decision to not allow religious festivities in campus saying that it would be against the "secular culture of the campus".
"Permission has been denied because ours is a secular campus and as such we cannot permit religious functions,” the letter from university registrar to the principal read.
But as protests intensified, the vice-chancellor withdrew his decision. "Saraswati Puja will be allowed on 10th February and the next day even Visarjan will be allowed. We have to make provisions for the visarjan, to be done in a way, that water pollution can be avoided,” the Principal Dr Sunil Kumar told NDTV.
Saraswati Puja, which will be observed on February 10 this year, worships the Hindu goddess of education.
This incident happened a year after a college student was suspended for defying the rules of conducting Saraswati Puja.
Subsequently, a group of north Indian students also made allegations that they were served beef cutlets at an event in the college, despite the management knowing that most north Indian students did not eat beef.
“The event was not conducted by the college. The college was not in the know-how of what would be served. It was organised by the people who were conducting the on-campus programme,” the principal had told then.