HYDERABAD: Sixteen students of Hyderabad’s Osmania University were arrested this morning over their plan to have a beef festival on campus in defiance of a court ban.
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.
Heavy restrictions are in place in the university today with policemen swarming the campus. Barricades have been put up and movement has been restricted.
A group of students had also announced that they would organize a “pork festival” today.
If student leaders were picked up from the NRS Hostel, where the beef festival was scheduled to take place, the BJP leader Raja Singh, who opposed the festival and the MBT leader Amjadullah Khan, who backed the festival, were placed under house arrest for a few hours.
Earlier this week, several students were stopped by the police from taking out a two-km run in support of the beef festival.
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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