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Kerala: Students protest as Government college Principal removes ABVP flag and leaves SFI flag intact to ‘avoid clashes’

The ABVP members were celebrating the martyrdom day of Vishal who was an RSS-ABVP activist who was murdered by members of the PFI in 2012.

On Wednesday, ABVP members of the Government Brennen College, Thalassery erected a flag post on the campus as part of the “Balidaan Diwas” of Vishal in the Kannur district. The flag was erected next to that of the SFI’s flagpole. A video went viral showing the college principal, K. Falgunan, removing the flagpole and taking it outside the campus. The flags of the SFI remained untouched.

As per reports, the principal had given permission to erect the flagpole temporarily. The ABVP members were later asked to remove the flagpole. On refusing to do so, the principal himself removed the flagpole triggering protests. Protesters had later marched towards his home and held a demonstration. Falgunan has said that he removed the flagpoles only to prevent possible clashes between the SFI and the ABVP.

BJP leader P K Krishnadas had alleged that the campus was an SFI stronghold and that the principal was denying the ABVP members the right to carry out their organisation’s work. He said if the principal was sincere about avoiding clashes he could have removed the flags of both the groups. The principal had not removed the SFI’s flag. The BJP vehemently protested against the principal’s actions.

On the next day, ABVP members had attempted to erect the flagpole in the morning. However, they faced resistance from the police.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUo3JFjvMg0]

Later at 1 PM, ABVP members erected the flagpole with the permission of the principal. Reportedly, they were prevented from erecting the flagpole earlier as the Fraternity Movement was conducting a march at that time.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n-w1lcFbog]

Meanwhile, the principal has said that he has received death threats from ABVP activists. Police have deployed been deployed in front of his house for protection.

The principal had also tried to clarify why he had removed the flagpole. He said “I removed the flag to avert the possible clashes between SFI and ABVP. Thousands of students had assembled on one side for SFI while the other side had around seven ABVP activists. I did what I thought would be the best in the situation to avert any mishap. I removed the flag pole and took it outside the campus and handed over to the police”.

Reportedly, the Brennen college has always been an SFI stronghold. Students from other organisations were prevented from functioning in the college. The CPM leader and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is also an alumnus of the college.

The SFI is the student body of the CPM, known for their violent campus politics. SFI college unit members have threatened and abused female students for not participating in the CPM’s “Women’s Wall”. SFI members were arrested on charges of murder for stabbing a fellow SFI member of the University College in Thiruvananthapuram. Talking about the incident BJP member AP Abdullakutty said that the SFI must now stand for “Stupid Federation of Idiots”.

The ABVP members were celebrating the martyrdom day of Vishal who was an RSS-ABVP activist who was murdered by members of the PFI in 2012.

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