Beef vs pork controversy in Osmania fizzles out; students share beef at police station
The big beef vs pork controversy which set the stage for a big clash among students in Osmania University on Thursday fizzled out after police intervention.
Hyderabad: The big beef vs pork controversy which set the stage for a big clash among students in Osmania University on Thursday fizzled out after police intervention. The organisers of the beef festival, who were adamant about holding it on campus despite a court verdict against it, had to satisfy themselves by having beef in the police station.
The university was on the boil till early in the morning with the Democratic Cultural Forum (DCF) deciding to go ahead with the proposed beef festival and the OU-Joint Action Committee not withdrawing its retaliatory pork festival. The High Court had earlier upheld a city court’s order not to allow any such festival on campus.
Anticipating a fight, the police had detained over two scores of students from both sides. Some students who were kept at Amberpet police station had their beef curry inside the police station. Marking a celebration, they fed beef biryani to one another.
The police also arrested the former principal of Osmania University College of Arts Prof PL VisheshwarRao who tried to force his way into the campus to take part in the beef festival. Some activists of Bajrang Dal and the BJP tried to perform Gau Puja on the campus. They were prevented by the police.
The Democratic Cultural Forum wanted to conduct the festival on World Human Rights Day to protest against the “beef ban” and the series of attacks in the country over beef consumption. The Gau Samrakshana Samithi, led by Goshamahal MLA Raja Singh (BJP), gave a ‘Chalo Osmania’ call to protest against it. The OU Registrar had announced that the university would scrap the admission of students indulging in the conduct of the festivals, if they belonged to the university.
The beef festival and pork festival have political overtones. “The DCF argued that when the university authorities permitted the conduct of an RSS shakha(on February 28, 2015) on the campus, why wouldn’t they permit the beef festival?” asked Shankar, a leader of DCF. He added that the RSS had also conducted a ‘Kotagiri Utsavam’ involving many students on the campus.
The police deployed additional forces and cordoned off the entry points into the campus and are denying permission to unauthorised people trying to get in.
The police kept the MLA under house arrest initially and conducted raids on the OU hostels late on Wednesday. They took 16 student leaders into preventive custody and shifted them to Shainayath Gunj police station towards the early hours of Thursday.
Later, the MLA was shifted to the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Police of Goshamahal. He told the media, while under preventive custody, that if the police could not prevent the conduct of the beef festival and in enforcing the court order, the Gau Samrakshana Samithi would give a “different reaction.” He was later shifted to Bollarum police station where he and his supporters had an altercation with the police.
Some students, sympathisers of DCF, were also picked up as part of preventive arrests at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, which is 20-km away from the Osmania campus.
Raja Singh had earlier announced that the Gau Samrakshana Samithi would prevent the conduct of the beef festival at any cost, and said that 2,000 activists of the Samithi were deployed around the OU campus.
This led to the escalation of tension.
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