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Osmania beef festival becomes flashpoint between students, right-wing Hindu groups

Osmania University, the varsity which has witnessed several historic political struggles since its inception, has once again become a flashpoint of a possible bitter face-off between its students and some right-wing Hindu organisations over a beef festival scheduled for December 10.

According to reports, Democratic Cultural Forum, an umbrella organisation representing 15 student organisations of OU including two research scholar outfits, has decided to serve beef delicacies to over 5,000 participants during the ‘peddakoora panduga’ on December 10.

The move has irked the members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Bharatiya Janata Party and a ‘Gau Rakshana Samiti’ and they have launched a vigorous campaign against the proposed beef festival.

The representatives of the right-wing Hindu groups had urged the authorities not to allow beef festival, warning that it would vitiate the peaceefull environment on the campus and trigger violence.

Leaders of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and other organisations met Hyderabad District Collector K Nirmala and urged her to ensure that the beef festival is not held.

Goshamahal MLA T Raja Singh Lodh too led a delegation of BJP, VHP and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and submitted two memorandums to Principal Secretary Ranjeev R Acharya, who is also in-charge vice-chancellor of Osmania University.

Raja Singh said that an educational institution should be a seat of learning and no act that hurts the sentiments of a particular community should be encouraged.

In their memorandums, the Hindu outfits warned the government that they will conduct Gau (Cow) Puja and Yagna on the campus if such unacceptable events are allowed.

However, some Leftist students organisations have declared that they will hold Beef festival on Osmania University campus on December 10 to protest against the ban on slaughter of cow.

The All India Students Federation (AISF), Progressive Democrative Students Union (PDSU), Students Federation of India (SFI), Bahujan Students Federation (BSF) and other groups of students and some faculty members announced that the beef festival will be held on Human Rights Day (December 10) to uphold food right as one among the human rights.

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