Hyderabad/Nagpur: Eight organisers of the controversial ‘beef festival’ on Osmania University campus were detained while BJP MLA T Raja Singh, who was opposing the the event, was arrested in Hyderabad this morning, police said.
A ‘curfew-like’ situation prevailed on the campus with heavy police security being deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
A students’ group had earlier declared that it would hold a ‘beef festival’ on the campus on Thursday, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, while another group also announced its plan to organise a ‘pork festival’ the same day, which raised the possibility of confrontation.
“We detained last night eight key members of the group which announced the beef festival today. As per court order, we will not allow any festivals on the Osmania University campus,” a police official told media. Assistant Commissioner of Police K Ram Bhupal Rao told media that they arrested BJP MLA from Goshamahal, T Raja Singh, as a preventive measure to maintain law and order.
The legislator had vowed to stop the ‘beef festival’ and also announced that he along with other groups would perform a “Gau Puja” (cow worship) on Thursday. Earlier, he had also shown willingness to kill whoever consumes beef. A city civil court had passed the status quo order three days back, which amounts to staying the holding of the festivals, on a petition filed by an advocate.
The petition contended that these events are in violation of Cruelty Towards Animal Act and Cow Slaughter Act, and hurt the religious sentiments of the people. Large scale violence was witnessed when beef festival was organised on the campus by a section of students in 2011, 2012 and 2014, said the petition.
On the University premises, police imposed restrictions on movement of people and vehicles. Barricades were put up at all the vantage points of the institution and heavy police security was deployed. Police did not allow even regular morning walkers in the university on Thursday.
Osmania University, one of the oldest educational institutions of higher learning, has already clarified that activities unrelated to academics, including ‘beef festival’, ‘pork festival’ and ‘gau-puja’ would not be permitted on the campus.