Clashes were reported between students in Kerala’s Cochin University over a beef row on Tuesday, 30 January. A video showing students scuffling and shouting angrily at each other was aired on a TV news channel.

According to reports, two groups of students clashed in Pulinkunnu-based Cochin University College of Engineering Kuttanad (CUCEK). As one group, composed of students from other states, tried to disperse students from classrooms, local students allegedly tried to prevent.

The New Indian Express reports that some students suffered minor injuries.

It all began when some students of CUCEK alleged that the principal deceived them into consuming beef during a seminar on 25 January.

The students claimed that they were told that the cutlet being served at the seminar was vegetarian but when they consumed it, they found it was made with meat. Some local friends told the students that the meat was beef.

The students joined by members of the BJP’s student wing, ABVP, have accused the principal Dr Sunil Kumar of “hurting the religious sentiments of the north Indian students”.

Reports say that the students have requested the DM to take action against Dr Kumar.

Meanwhile, the principal told The News Minute that the seminar was not organised by the college, but by a forum of retired bank employees. He claimed that the students were told beforehand that both vegetarian and beef cutlets were being served.

“Now, the students have not raised a complaint with me or the university, but have directly approached the DM. If they indeed wanted to solve the issue, they would have raised a complaint with the university,” he was quoted as saying.

The students will approach the vice-chancellor of Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) on Wednesday.