National

'Beef Festival' Row At Osmania University: BJP MLA Arrested, 8 Organisers Detained

Hyderabad; Dec.10: Eight organisers of the controversial 'beef festival' on Osmania University campus were detained while BJP MLA T Raja Singh, who was opposing the event, was arrested here on Thursday 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 said.

A lawmaker, Raja Singh, was also placed under house arrest as the authorities tried to ward against communal trouble. Mr Singh, who represents the Goshamahal area, had pledged to celebrate "Gau Seva Diwas" or cow protection day to counter the beef festival.

The BJP lawmaker has also planned a protest rally.

On Tuesday, many Osmania students reportedly had beef biryani and kebabs while being watched by policemen, allegedly as a show of defiance. A court has also suspended the festivals saying they are illegal and violate various animal rights laws.

A petition had said that during similar beef festivals organized by students in 2011, 2012 and 2014, there had been clashes.

The Osmania University, one of the country's oldest institutions, had earlier announced that it would not allow activities unrelated to academics, including the beef and pork festivals on its campus. .

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