At least 100 students from unions attached to Students Federation of India cooked and consumed beef in their rooms in ‘C’ Hostel, Triveni Hostel and Ambedkar Hostel of Osmania University Thursday, even as hundreds of policemen in riot gear surrounded the campus and prevented anyone from outside from participating in the ‘beef festival’.
The police later raided the hostels and detained 30 students for display and consumption of beef in public. BJP MLA T Raja Singh, who had threatened to cleanse the university by organising a ‘gau puja’, was also taken into preventive custody, Deputy Commissioner A Ravinder said. The situation in and around the university remained tense throughout the day.
University authorities and the police had earlier asked the students to not “vitiate the academic atmosphere” on campus by conducting the beef festival in the open, resulting in the students cooking in the hostels instead.
“We were intimidated and threatened not to organise this festival in a democratic manner. University and police failed to protect our rights in choosing what we eat,” K Shanker, one of the organisers of the beef festival, said.
Shanker, who is a member
of the All India Students Federation, said the festival was to coincide with World Human Rights Day “to uphold democratic principles and values”.
Musabir Ali, another organiser, said, “We purchased the beef and brought it to the hostels and cooked in our rooms. Students of three hostels participated in this.”
University Registrar Suresh Kumar said the university followed orders from the High Court at Hyderabad, asking the university not to allow beef or pork festivals on campus. However, in a sign of defiance, the students who cooked beef sent out photos on social networking sites which went viral by evening.