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‘Red terror down down’: ABVP stages nationwide protest against SFI after torture by their members pushed a veterinary student to suicide in Kerala

During the protests by ABVP seeking justice for the deceased student, effigies of SFI were burnt amidst sloganeering, and “Ban SFI”, “Red Terror Down Down”, and “Justice For Siddharthan” posters were also put up.

On 12th March, Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), staged protests in various universities across the country after a 20-year-old student JS Siddharthan at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Kerala’s Wayanad committed suicide. Police have arrested six members of the leftist Student Federation of India (SFI) for torture and humiliation of the deceased victim.

The members of ABVP held protests at Banaras Hindu University, Delhi University, Osmania University, Hyderabad Central University, Rajasthan University, Annamalai University and Gujarat University demanding strict action against SFI members accused in JS Siddharthan’s suicide.

“ABVP condemns the violence perpetrated by SFI criminals and polluting the academic environment with severe violence and brutality. JS Siddharthan, a second-year student at Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, was subjected to a brutal assault by SFI criminals, resulting in severe injuries and humiliation before he tragically took his own life. ABVP demands immediate action against the perpetrators and provides justice to Siddharthan and his family. Despite repeated incidents of violence and intimidation by SFI criminals, there has been a lack of concrete action by the authorities, which is unfortunate and deeply concerning,” ABVP said in a press statement.

During the protests by ABVP seeking justice for the deceased student, effigies of SFI were burnt amidst sloganeering, and “Ban SFI”, “Red Terror Down Down”, and “Justice For Siddharthan” posters were also put up.

Taking to X, ABVP wrote, “Activists of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and Allahabad University, Prayagraj unit demand justice for the family members of the student who died due to inhuman atrocities committed by #SFI goons at KVASU, Kerala and strict action against the culprits. A protest was held.”

Speaking about the ABVP protests at the crossing near Ramjas College in Delhi University’s North Campus, Delhi University Student Union joint secretary Sachin Baisla said, “The leftist student union SFI has a long criminal history. Kerala’s educational institutions have become a safe haven for these criminals bred by CPI(M). Siddharthan’s case in Kerala and the ragging that led to his suicide bring back the danger that SFI and other leftist groups bring into the educational institutions’ campuses. SFI’s involvement in criminal activities in Kerala also underlines the criminal history of these unions. Today, ABVP burnt the effigy of SFI in Delhi University’s campus in protest against criminals of SFI as well as demanded a speedy and strict investigation against the perpetrators of this incident so that such unfortunate incidents don’t repeat.”

ABVP members stage protest at crossing near Ramjas College in Delhi University’s North Campus

Meanwhile, ABVP’s National Secretary Yagywalkya Shukla accused the leftist government in Kerala of “failing to protect educational institutions from rampant  violence, corruption, and hooliganism perpetrated by SFI criminals.”

This comes after 20-year-old JS Siddharthan (or Siddharth) was found dead in the KVASU hostel on 18th February. Several SFI members are accused of torturing the student for days leading to the suicide. Siddharthan’s death sparked an outrage in the state following which Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan suspended Professor (Dr) MR Saseendranath, the vice-chancellor of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. Moreover, 31 university students were also suspended on the recommendation of the anti-ragging committee for connections with the case.

As reported earlier, most members are members of the Students Federation of India (SFI), a student group affiliated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist). A total of 11 accused have been arrested so far, and 4 of them are leaders of the SFI.

Notably, JS Siddharthan’s 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.

Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the case. Opposition parties and the father of the student had blamed the SFI for the death of the student.

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