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6 SFI members arrested, 12 more suspended, for suicide of college student in Wayanad, victim was assaulted, paraded naked, kept hungry for dancing on Valentine’s Day

On 18th January, JS Sidharth, a second-year student of the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Pookode, Wayanad took his own life after he was tortured by left wing students for several days

In a shocking occurrence from Kerala, a 20-year-old student, JS Sidharth a native of Nedumangad, Thiruvananthapuram committed suicide on 18th February in Wayanad. He was reportedly subjected to severe physical and verbal abuse by the left-wing student leaders who also provoked him to end his life. He was likewise paraded naked by them. Six pupils affiliated with the Student Federation of India (SFI) were apprehended on 28th February by police after interrogation. The father of the deceased, Jayaprakash also charged the student leaders of the SFI with murder.

The accused have been identified as Billgate Joshua (23) from Sultan Bathery, Abhishek S (23) from Idukki, Dons Daayi (23) from Thodupuzha, Akash SD (22), Rahan Binoy (20) and Sreehari RD (23) from Thiruvananthapuram. A case was previously launched against K. Arun, N. Asif Khan, SFI Unit Secretary Amal Ihsan, K. Akhil, R.S. In addition, an official complaint was also brought against Kashinathan, Amin Akbar Ali, Sinjo Johnson, J Ajay, EK Saud Rizal, A Altaf, V Adityan and M Muhammad Danish.

According to information, on 18th January, JS Sidharth, a second-year student of the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Pookode, Wayanad took his own life. The body was found hanging in a toilet of the college hostel in the afternoon. His post-mortem report carried many revelations including that he suffered a severe beating before death. Furthermore, his stomach was empty and there were wounds on his body. He sustained head, jaw and back injuries. 

Afterwards, the police registered a case of unnatural death in this case. Twelve students comprising left-wing student leaders were also suspended from the college after its anti-ragging committee found the victim was brutally beaten up by fellow students days before his death. The arrested individuals are not among the suspended students who are evading capture. According to Sidharth’s father, left-wing students regularly tortured his son. The suspended SFI leaders and members include the college union president, a union member, and the SFI unit secretary.

He charged, “On February 14, Sidharth danced with senior students during a Valentine’s Day function, for which he was beaten up in front of around 100 students. Sidharth’s friends told us that the college union secretary and his gang threatened to kill them if they revealed the assault,” and slammed the Vythiri police for prolonging to take action against the offenders.

He mentioned that on 14th February, Valentine’s Day, Sidharth had danced with a girl. This infuriated the accused. The victim was supposed to return home the next day. However, he was summoned to the hostel by the SFI student leaders who then began tormenting him. He endured three days of relentless misery. Food and drink were off-limits to him. A rod was used to batter him. He was humiliated and led around the hostel in a naked state. The news of Sidharth’s suicide followed after the horrifying developments.

According to the victim’s family members, he had purchased a train ticket on 15th February, but he had to cancel the trip after receiving a call from a friend after which he became unusually quiet and depressed.

Sidharth’s father disclosed that the former called two hours before the news of his death. He stressed that his son didn’t commit suicide but was killed and hanged there. According to him, no action has been taken in the matter since the culprits are connected to organisations that support the ruling left parties. K. Akhil, one of the primary offenders was nabbed on 29th February from Palakkad. Kerala’s opposition parties have also charged that the administration is being indifferent to the issue. It is alleged that a fight about Valentine’s Day celebrations at the campus led to Siddharth being exposed to vicious violence and a mob trial.

The suspects allegedly attended college till 24th February but the police had no interest in apprehending them. Six students were ultimately apprehended after the authorities were charged with negligence. Leading the probe, Sajeev claimed that following receipt of the anti-ragging committee’s report, police had charged the students both apprehended and absconded under the Prohibition of Ragging Act and abetment of suicide (IPC Section 306).

He noted, “The accused include senior students and Sidharth’s batchmates. The police took eight students into custody and recorded the arrest of six. They are not among the suspended students.”

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