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Govt has no right to ‘police’ food habit of students: Yechury

Expressing concern over reports of non-vegetarian food being taken off menu in IIT Delhi, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday said the government has no right to ‘police’ the food habit of students and sought HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s intervention in the matter.

In a letter to Irani, Yechury referred to the communications received from IIT Delhi faculty about non-veg food being taken off menu in all the hostels and requested her to look into the issue.

He said it was ‘unfortunate’ to note that the decision was taken after a letter was sent by the ministry seeking opinions of IITs regarding the demand for separate canteen for vegetarian and non-vegetarian students.

‘If there is a need for a separate facility for vegetarian students, that can be understood, but it
cannot be at the expense of depriving non-vegetarians of their choice.

‘This is against the students rights. The government has no business to police the food habits of IIT students,’ he said in his letter.

Seeking Irani’s intervention, he asked her to ensure that the government and her ministry ‘is in no way, intervening to determine the food habits of students’.

Earlier in October, a communication was sent by the Ministry to IITs after it received a representation from Katni-based trader S K Jain, who demanded a separate eating space and mess for vegetarian students.
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