HYDERABAD: The peace at the Osmania University campus was disturbed once again on Sunday with a group of students trying to disrupt the beef festival being organised by a group of research scholars. The festival, being organised by Prajaswamya Samskruthika Vedika, was going on at the Narmada Research Scholars hostel and was being opposed by another group of students.
The difference of opinion between two groups reached a flash point when a few youth, allegedly belonging to the ABVP, tried to force its way into the venue in order to disrupt it. But they were prevented by a large contingent of police already deployed at the venue in anticipation of trouble.
The group of agitated students pelted stones at the venue to which the police personnel promptly replied with tear gas shells and even used canes to disperse the group. Angered, the students set fire to a couple of vehicles, including a media vehicle.
The festival was organised by a group of students headed by B Sudarshan, Stalin and Azad and had around 200 students and half a dozen professors participating in it. Beef biriyani was cooked and organisers had made all arrangements for serving the meal to the participants.
It appeared that the festival, which had put police personnel on their toes, would come to an uneventful end.
But towards the close of the festival, a group of students took out a rally from the B-Hostel to the NRS hostel, reportedly shouting slogans like Bharat Mata ki Jai.
Police prevented them from entering the venue grounds, leading to violence and stone pelting. As police lobbed tear gas shells, the students retreated and vented their anger elsewhere. They damaged street lights and private vehicles.
While they set ire to two vehicles, they damaged others by smashing windows.
Later, some unknown students also reportedly attacked two research scholars at the Old PG hostel while they were going out after participating in the event. The attackers reportedly wore masks.
Additional forces were rushed to the campus and the situation was brought under control. Police, however, are anticipating counter attack by the other group and have deployed more personnel at campus.
Prof PL Visweswara Rao, retired faculty member at the Department of Communication and Journalism in the university, who had come to lend support to the festival, said that the university administration and police failed to protect their rights by allowing a group of students to attack them. Rao said that the students were eating beef, which is a practice they have followed for years and were not forcing anybody else to eat it or causing any inconvenience.
One of the organisers, Sudarshan said that their constitutional right was being suppressed as attackers were obstructing them from practicing their own traditions and food habits.
Stalin said that they will meet home minister Sabitha Indra Reddy Monday morning, demanding immediate arrest of the persons behind the attack