On Friday morning, a student of the University College in Thiruvananthapuram was stabbed in the chest allegedly by the members of the college SFI unit. The police have said that the attack was a planned move. The accused are now absconding the police.
The investigation of the incident
Allegedly 20 members of the SFI were involved in the attack. In the FIR it has been mentioned that two SFI leaders, Naseem and Amal, held Akhil while SFI college unit chief Sivaranjith stabbed him. Witnesses say that the knife used belonged to Naseem. They also said that several SFI workers who were not part of the college were also involved in the attack. Murder charges have been slapped on six people in total. The accused have gone in hiding after having spent nearly an hour on the campus after the stabbing incident.
Students have revealed that the SFI union office in University College was known as the ‘torture room’. In some reports, the room was named as the ‘assault room’. Police searched the rooms after students claimed that weapons were kept in these rooms. However, police have claimed that they haven’t found any weapons in the room.
Contrary to the claims made by the police, Janam TV had visited the union room and revealed that room indeed had weapons. The room had also bottles of alcohol as well as other signs that indicate the people have been living in the room.
Former student narrates her ordeal
Meanwhile, Nikhila, a former student of University College, came out and narrated the ordeal she faced at the hands of SFI members. She had earlier attempted suicide before deciding to leave the campus. She was fed up with the hostile and violent campus ambience. “SFI hooliganism is rife at the University College. If the principal had taken a more stringent stance, such instances would not have happened”, she said.
Speaking to reporters Nikhila claimed that the SFI was running the college and even the principal was afraid to take action against them. According to her, everyone who joins the college should become a member of SFI. If students refused to do so they would be threatened. SFI members have threatened Nikhila that she would be prevented from writing her exams and prevent her from studying if she didn’t cooperate. The members have also claimed to have given TC to several such female students who had resisted.
Nikhila said that SFI members would ensure that every student would attend their protest marches. She complied in the beginning. Protests were repeatedly held in the college, sometimes even at midnight. She claimed that they were made to participate despite not having any food.
She claimed that if students need to go home or do something in the college they always had to take the permission of SFI. Their lives were controlled by them. Ragging of first-year students was a common occurrence in the college. However, students who worked closely with the union were exempted from strict control.
For Nikhila the situation escalated when SFI members had called upon all female students. Just a day before the exams, female students were required to paint a poster. Angry at the situation, Nikhila had updated her WhatsApp status refusing to cooperate with them. Her classmates took a screenshot and sent it to the SFI unit members. On the next day, she was prevented from having her food and was asked to meet a unit member. If she didn’t so, she would be prevented from writing her exams.
The unit member had threatened her that she would need to adjust to the demands of the SFI if she wished to continue her studies. Several of her friends had also given up supporting fearing that they would be reprimanded. Finally, she had decided to change her college.
In another interview, Nikhila had also claimed that college authorities had never acted against SFI members. Unit members were free to bring a textbook or mobile to exam centres and copy from them. Unit members also lived in the unit room. Alcohol and drugs were used in the room.
On prime accused Naseem
Nikhila had claimed that Naseem used the college SFI union room for hiding from the police in last December-January. Naseem was previously wanted for assaulting two traffic policemen. He had absconded for over a month before surrendering.
According to some reports, Naseem is close to the Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. Reports say that when he had surrendered for the police assault case, he was fed with chicken biryani and Coca-Cola.
Reportedly, the names of the two accused prime Shivaranjith and Naseem were also found to be on the PSC rank list. Both are awaiting a call to become police constables. This is despite the well known criminal background of Naseem.
The Student Federation of India (SFI) is the student body of the ruling CPM party. Naseem is the prime accused of the incident in which SIF members had stabbed Akhil. They had a dispute over the issue of singing in the canteen. Akhil is in a stable condition and has submitted his statement to the police. Students of all political affiliations have come out in protest against the SFI. The college unit has been subsequently disbanded.
Earlier, the SFI had previously put up a derogatory poster of Sabarimala’s Lord Ayyappa at the Kerelaverma College in Thrissur.