Thursday was a day for differing claims, as the police said that they had foiled the proposed beef festival in Osmania University, even as the organisers asserted that students had celebrated the event in their hostel rooms.
The university resembled a war zone, with heavy deployment of police in and around the campus and barricades at its gates. In order to check any untoward incident, the police took over 100 people into protective custody, including key organisers of the festival and BJP MLA T Raja Singh, who was in the forefront of opposing the event.
“We successfully stopped them from organising the festival on the campus. We have taken a few people into custody. They will be released soon,” deputy commissioner of police (East Zone) A Ravinder said.
However, the BJP MLA took umbrage on being detained. “What is the point of arresting me but letting the beef fest organisers roam free in the campus? Let the government and police ensure that the beef fest is not held, as directed by the court,” Raja Singh said.
The university made its stand clear, stating that no food festival would be allowed on campus. “There is no permission for any food fest on the campus. Students violating these orders would be rusticated from the campus. Even their admissions could be cancelled,” said registrar Suresh Kumar.
Meanwhile, pictures showing students eating beef were circulated on social media but it was not clear when the photographs were taken.
Leftist and Dalit student bodies had earlier declared that they would hold a beef festival in OU on December 10. Raja Singh vowed to disrupt the event, warning of “Dadri-like incidents”, while a rival group of students – allegedly supported by the ABVP – 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.
(With PTI inputs)