Veterinary university student’s death stirs Kerala political waters; Congress blames SFI

Siddharthan, a second-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry student, was found dead in the hostel bathroom on 18 February.


Published Feb 28, 2024 | 8:12 PMUpdatedFeb 28, 2024 | 8:12 PM

Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. (Wikimedia)

The recent death of a student of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Wayanad has stirred the political waters of the state with the Congress accusing the ruling CPI(M)’s student wing, SFI, of beating the young man to death.

The accusation by the Congress comes in the wake of the student’s father claiming that activists and local leaders of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) beat up his son for three days in the hostel.

The SFI has denied the allegation.

SFI activists blamed 

Siddharthan (20), a second-year Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry student, was found hanging in his hostel’s bathroom on 18 February.

According to his father, a few of his son’s collegemates told him that Siddharthan was allegedly killed by some local SFI leaders and activists studying at the same university.

He told a TV channel that according to the postmortem report, there were several injuries on his son’s body and that the stomach was empty, which indicated that no food was given to him for 2-3 days.

He also said that he came to know that his son was beaten as part of ragging.

“Since SFI activists and local leaders are involved, their party will protect them. I do believe that there is political interference as otherwise the culprits would have been caught by police quickly. Our police are competent, but they must be facing pressure,” the father claimed.

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly VD Satheesan, too, alleged that the accused were SFI activists and they had beaten the student to death.

He said that the police are yet to arrest the accused in the case as they were being protected. Satheesan demanded that the accused be caught quickly or else the Congress will hold protests against the alleged inaction.

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SFI responds 

The allegations were denied by the SFI with its state President, Anusree, contending that none of the accused in the case were members of the organisation presently.

She told PTI that SFI had, right from the start, sought a detailed investigation into the matter and that it has no intention of interfering with the police probe.

The police, which had initially lodged a case of unnatural death, later booked 12 persons for various offences, including abetment of suicide, wrongful restraint and voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, under the Indian Penal Code and the Kerala Prohibition of Ragging Act.

They said that all the accused were absconding.

The police also said that its initial probe has not indicated that the accused were in any way affiliated to the SFI.

It further said that following the student’s death, the university had suspended the accused from the institution and the hostel.

Meanwhile, the Youth Congress held a protest march during the day to the Vythiri Police Station, alleging inaction by the police.

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