Student unions in Bengaluru organised a 'beef fest' on Monday to protest against the centre's new cattle trade rules. Except, there was no edible beef at the fest, just one between the protesters and Hindu groups.
Around 25 people gathered at Town Hall in Bengaluru on Monday evening, but only half of them were supporting the protests. Members of SFI, DYFI and other left-aligned student unions were gathered for the protest, but were, perhaps predictably, joined by Hindutva outfits.
To protest against the planned protest, members of VHP and other outfits also gathered outside Town Hall at the same time.
And within just a few minutes, a fight broke out between the two groups.
An SFI activist was speaking to media persons, when a VHP member slapped him as the camera was rolling.
As the fight intensified, the Bengaluru police detained at least 20 people, from both sides.
Only a few people turned up, and even they were detained by the police soon after.
The police intervened after a scuffle broke out between the two sides.
"We did not start it," the pro-beef protesters said.
The entire protest lasted for less than 10 minutes, as most of the activists were taken away by the police to the police headquarters.
"We did not start the violence. Why are the police detaining us? This is unfair," an SFI activist said while the police were taking him ways in the van.
"They (SFI and DYFI) planned this to hurt Hindu sentiments and nothing more," said Sharadha Diamond, a Hindu activist.
DYFI and SFI activists who were detained began shouting "we want justice" as the police van moved away.
The Left students group had announced â€śMooment Bengluruâ€ť - the beef fest - at the Puttannachetty Townhall earlier in the day. They announced that protesters could bring their own beef, and that there would also be a few beef stalls at the protest venue.
â€śOf course, there will be opposition to our protest. We do expect a fallout but we have police protection,â€ť Varkey Parakkal, organiser of the event had posted on his page.
Similar beef fests were held across Kerala and IIT Madras in Chennai on Sunday as a mark of protest against the Centreâ€™s recent notification which makes regulation of cattle slaughter more stringent.