A showdown appears to be on cards today with the defiant students’ group deciding to go ahead with its plan to conduct a ‘Beef Festival’ on December 10 in Osmania University campus here despite university authorities’ refusal of permission and a BJP MLA vowing to stop it.
Another group of students had announced plans to organise a ‘Pork festival’ in the university campus on December 10.
“In fact, we did not apply for permission. Permission is not required for what we eat in our college and our hostel. We will definitely go ahead with the event,” Shankar, an organiser of the ‘Beef Festival’, said.
Noting that Ganesh festival and “Nagula Chavati” celebrations, among others, do take place at the campus, he asked how come these religious events are taking place in the university premises with people from outside coming in.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Raja Singh, who had vowed to stop the ‘Beef Festival’, said he would go ahead with his plan if the organisers tried to conduct the event even after refusal of permission.
“101 per cent, we will stop it, if they go ahead with the Beef Festival even after the government saying so (denying permission),” Raja Singh said.
He had earlier said a ‘Gau puja’ should also be allowed on December 10 if the ‘Beef Festival’ is permitted.
Raja Singh had also hit out at Telangana BJP President G Kishan Reddy for “not speaking in favour of stopping the “Beef Festival” and demanded his resignation, saying his action amounted to “stunting the growth of BJP in Telangana”.
The organisers of the beef ‘festival’ had said that it was being planned as a means to “save democratic principles” in the wake of alleged attempts to curb dietary habits of certain groups, coinciding with International Human Rights Day on December 10.
They said they have also complained to the State Human Rights Commission against Raja Singh for his “provocative comments”.
Pork has been a nutritious food choice and “pig-rearing provided livelihood to certain communities” in the country, said Solanki Srinivas, a leader of the students’ group in the varsity planning to hold ‘Pork Festival’.
OU authorities said yesterday the university has been established for the purpose of imparting higher education and conducting research in various disciplines.
“The primary objective of the University is purely academic and research oriented. It is, therefore, informed to all the concerned including the teachers, students and staff of the university that activities such as “Beef Festival” and “Gau-Puja” which are unrelated to academics and research will not be permitted on the campus,” they said.