Defying a civil court's stay order on the planned beef and pork festivals scheduled to take place on Thursday, students of Hyderabad's Osmania University consumed beef biryani and kebabs on Tuesday. They reiterated their vow to conduct the festivals as planned.
Students opened and distributed beef food packets in the presence of policemen on the campus.
The city civil court had ordered a stay on the event on Monday triggering students to hold a 5 km rally in support of the festival, turning the university campus into a battleground, with police rounding them up and arresting around 50 students. The court had stated that such festivals are unlawful and were equivalent to animal cruelty as it violated the provisions of the Prevention of Cow Slaughtering Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, but students said they would go ahead with the festival as they had not received any official notice from the civil court regarding the stay order.
The organisers of the festival plan to go to the Hyderabad High Court to vacate the lower court's stay order today. Shankar, the organiser of the planned beef festival told Times Of India, "There are a lot of political parties involved in stalling the beef fest. We will do everything possible to vacate the stay on the festival before Thursday." Terming beef as 'food of minorities', the students said they would file an appeal under the SC and the ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Earlier, BJP MLA Raja Singh had warned against holding the beef festival saying "I am categorically warning those who want to hold the beef festival that they must drop the programme. We are committed to take life or give life in order to protect the 'gou mata'," reported The Times Of India. He had even visited the campus and reportedly brandished a sword there. However, Telangana's BJP party distanced itself from Singh's stand.
"Everything will go as per our plans. We have enough support from a lot of political parties to run the show," asserted Musavir Ali to Times Of India, a student supporter of the event.
The organisers of the pork festival slated for December 10 are not backing down either. Srinivas Solanki, an organiser of the pork festival told The Times Of India, "We respect the civil court's order, but we plan to conduct the festival without disrupting the students' academic sessions and the administrative work."
The Osmania University Teachers Association (OUTA) were worried about these activities disrupting academics, with semester exams scheduled to begin from December 14. Battu Satyanarayana, president of OUTA said, "The university doesn't need such festivities as it only hampers the academics. Students must focus on studies during this period. But students are losing focus given the condition on campus," The varsity had earlier stated that 'Beef Festival', 'Pork Festival', 'Gou-puja', which are non-academic in nature, would not be allowed on campus.
However the festival organisers lashed out in response saying "The association which has been in existence for a very long time has never stood up for students' issues. Why is it suddenly raising concerns over this issue when it doesn't it at all?" reported Times Of India
Contact HuffPost India
Also see on HuffPost: