The tension in Osmania University is palpable as a group of students plans to defy court orders and go ahead with a proposed beef festival on Thursday.
There is a heavy deployment of police on the university campus, as Leftist and Dalit student bodies are preparing for the festival, while a local BJP MLA, Raja Singh, has vowed to disrupt the event “at any cost”. Meanwhile, a rival group of students – allegedly supported by the ABVP – have announced a pork festival on the same day.
On Wednesday, the Hyderabad high court upheld the orders of a city civil court, banning all such events on the campus till December 20. The HC reportedly asked the students not to be influenced by vested interests or people.
“We welcome the orders of the high court. But some students are still stating that they will conduct the beef festival. I appeal to the police to restrain them. If the police fail in their job, then we will act. The state government will be responsible for the consequences,” Raja Singh said.
He had earlier warned of “Dadri-like incidents” if the beef festival were to be held, referring to the lynching and murder of 52-year-old Mohammad Ikhlaq for his alleged consumption of beef in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh.
“We are not worried by these orders. If they do not allow us to eat beef on campus, we will hold such fests in the city and state,” said one of the students organising the event.
Meanwhile, university authorities stated that they would act tough on the students who hold any food festival on campus. Teacher bodies have also appealed against the beef fest.