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Students in alleged beef row identified

Agra : Five students of the Central Hindi Institute here accused of eating beef have been identified but officials denied the charges saying they were now on a holiday.

The alleged ‘beef-eating’ photos went viral on Friday night. But institute officials said the five students were not in Agra now.

The five are Mubeer Khan from Tajikistan, Ivan Nilochovski from Bulgaria, Rezwan from Afghanistan, Zuyod Hakumov from Uzbekistan and Mert Koc from Turkey, according to officials.

Authorities said the district administration conducted an inquiry and found nothing of substance in the complaint.

An eight-member panel set up by the institute also found no evidence of meat being cooked in the hostel premises.

An official spokesperson said prima facie there was nothing objectionable but more details would be ascertained when the five return from holidays.

Meanwhile, Hindutva groups continued to protest here. Members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini met institute officials and demanded firm action against the alleged “culprits”.

The Central Hindi Institute is an educational arm of the union human resource development ministry. The institute has hundreds of foreign students learning Hindi.

“Most students who come from different countries are used to eating meat and have a different lifestyle. They are here to learn Hindi and later act as India’s ambassadors in their countries,” said a teacher, refusing to be identified by name.

“What impression of India will they carry back home?” he asked.