Non-vegetarian food row: SGPC-run institute authorities say it’s not a gurdwara

Countering charges of serving non-vegetarian food on its premises, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar, authorities on Thursday said it was not a religious institute or a gurdwara.

Talking to the media held here, vice-chancellor Kulwant Singh Ded, who was accompanied by principal Geeta Sharma, made it clear that the non-vegetarian food is not allowed to be prepared in the mess of the institute, but they cannot restrict eating habits of the students who belong to different religions and are from different states.

The institute is run by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). “If any student brings non-vegetarian food from outside, we cannot do anything,” said Sharma. The authorities also maintained that it was a baseless issue as a section of Sikhs eat non-veg food.

Replying to query on a cafeteria which runs on land of the institute and non-veg food items are allegedly sold out there, the principal said: “Though the cafeteria is on the institute land, but its doors are open towards the road. Moreover, it is not being managed by the institute.”

On Tuesday, former Congress leader Mandeep Singh Manna flayed the SGPC for allegedly allowing an eatery that sells non-vegetarian products from the premises of the institute. He also said that non-vegetarian items are served in the mess of the institute.

‘Efforts being made to defame institute’

Reacting to a video which has gone viral on the social media where an activist, Navtej Singh Gaggu, is seen holding the institute responsible for the death of a 16-year-old kabbadi player, Lovepreet Kaur, the institute authorities said they made all efforts to provide medical facilities to the girl. But Guggu is trying to defame the institute.

The V-C said the girl’s parents got her discharged and took her to a private hospital. The charges that the institute expelled her are also baseless, said the V-C. “They were to pay ₹53,000 for her treatment, but we did not charge from them on humanitarian grounds,” he added. “We are moving court to take action against Guggu,” he said.

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