IIT Mandi director Laxmidhar Behera has asked students to take a pledge not to eat meat, claiming that landslides and cloudbursts are happening in Himachal Pradesh because of cruelty to animals.
“Himachal Pradesh will have a significant downfall... if we do not stop butchering animals. You are butchering animals there... the innocent animals. It has a symbiotic relationship with the degradation of the environment as well... which you cannot see right now but is there," Behra said while addressing the students, a video of which is doing the rounds on social media.
“It is having landslides, cloudbursts and many other things again and again, these are all effects of cruelty to animals... people eat meat," he added.
“To become good human beings, what you have to do? No to meat eating."
There was no response from Behera on the controversy. His comments attracted criticism from netizens.
"The collapse is complete. These superstitious... will destroy whatever little was built in 70 years," Sandeep Manudhane, an entrepreneur and IIT Delhi alumnus, said on X.
Gautam Menon, a professor of biophysics, said: "In the current dispensation, having views like those of the director of IIT Mandi featured here is a feature, not a bug. It's simply sad."
Last year, Behera had hit the headlines for claiming that he was involved in an act of exorcism to rid his friend's apartment and family of "evil spirits" by chanting "holy mantras".