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Police keeping an eye on OU campus to prevent ‘beef festival’

Hyderabad: City police have geared up to prevent ‘beef festival’ from being organised by some sections of students in Osmania University on December 10, and said they will not hesitate from arresting law-breakers.

According to a senior police official, additional forces will soon be deployed on the campus to tackle the situation. A Leftist students’ organisation had earlier declared that it would hold a ‘beef festival’ on the campus, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day.

“Osmania University authorities denied permission for organising (all) festivals. So there is no question of allowing any festivals on the campus. We will go for preventive arrests if we feel that the situation may lead to law and order problems,” the police official said.

He said that they have stepped up vigil and are “keenly” observing the situation and ready to tackle it. Notwithstanding the police warning and the denial of permission by varsity authorities, Shankar, who claimed to be a member of the All India Students Federation (AISF), affiliated to Communist Party of India and one of the organisers of the ‘beef festival’, today said they would go ahead with the festival as proposed.

Notably, another group of students had announced plans to organise a ‘pork festival’ on the university campus on the same day, setting the stage for a confrontation.

However, the university authorities have categorically stated that they would not allow any programmes other than academics-related.

Meanwhile, Vikram Reddy, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president of Telangana unit, said they neither oppose beef festival nor support any other festival.

“There may be some individuals (of BJP or its wings) who are opposing the beef festival. The BJP and BJYM have nothing to do with these festivals,” Reddy said.

When asked about the remarks recently made by BJP MLA Raja Singh that if this (beef festival) event is permitted, another one to worship the cow should also be allowed, he said those were the legislator’s personal comments and have nothing to do with the party.

In 2012, violence had erupted on the OU campus when a ‘beef festival’ was held by some students’ groups. Several students were injured at that time as a result of confrontation between the organisers and the opposing groups.

Meanwhile, ABVP national secretary Kadiyala Raju, a student of Osmania University, said his organisation has nothing to with the beef and pork festivals proposed to be organised on the university campus on December 10.

“We are not involved in any of these festivals,” he said.

Instead, ABVP has called for a bandh in the Osmania University tomorrow in support of its demands concerning students’ welfare and development of the university.

The demands include increasing mess charges, giving a fellowship to research scholars as given in a Central University and improving civic infrastructure in the OU, he said.