(TNN | May 3, 2011)



Hyderabad: The beef row on English and Foreign Languages University (Eflu) campus intensified on Monday. While Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activists maintained that they would attack anyone who cooks beef on campus, a large group of students lead by Dalit Adivasi Bahujan Minority Students’ Association (DABMSA) and Telangana Students’ Association, said that they will continue the agitation till beef gets accepted in the hostel food guide.


Trouble started on campus on April 30 when dalit students of the university who tried to conduct a “beef festival” were allegedly beaten up by ABVP activists who also reportedly desecrated the food.


On Monday, beef supporters initiated a “food bandh” on campus, closing down the hostel messes, canteens and stores demanding inclusion of beef dishes in the mess menu. The students said that no food will be available on campus if their demands were not met.


The campus remained tense on Monday with several student groups holding meetings with university authorities demanding immediate action on those who indulged in vandalism on campus. Considering the sensitivity of the situation, police personnel from Osmania University police station were deputed at Eflu campus.


“We have started a non-cooperation and have been on a hunger strike since Sunday night till our demands are met. We have decided to continue with the agitation till our demands are met,” said L Rajesh, a member DABMSA. DASMA demanded that the university authorities should issue a statement saying that the students have the right to hold similar food festivals on campus.


Meanwhile, the issue drew attention of student groups of other Universities including Osmania University (OU) and University of Hyderabad (UoH). Dalit Students’ Union (DSU) of UoH campus has joined DABMSA in the protest by bring out posters in support. “University as an institution of learning should protect the interests of dalit students also and prevent a cultural negation that has been going on in the country since long,” a DSU poster read. Some social and human rights activists are also expected to extend support to students. “We are expecting that a public interest litigation (PIL) will be filed by Karthik Navayan, an activist to get a court order supporting the inclusion of beef in the hostel menu,” said a member of DABMSA.


Meanwhile, ABVP students against whom complaints were filed by DABMSA at OU police station said that including beef in the mess menu with the permission of university administration is out of question. “There are Hindu students whose beliefs would be hurt by such an act. We are accountable to them and hence we are against the festival,” said a member of the ABVP body on campus.


Meanwhile, the university authorities said that they have set up an enquiry committee to look into the incident. “Once the enquiry committee ascertains facts about the incident we will look into the demands of students,” said Nagamallika Gudipaty, dean, school of communication and spokesperson Eflu. 

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