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Kerala veterinary student's death: Governor suspends Vice-Chancellor of university

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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) | March 2, 2024 4:56:02 PM IST
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday suspended the Vice Chancellor of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Dr MR Saseendranath in connection with the death of a second-year student at the university.

The victim student of the Government Veterinary College, Pookode, Thiruvananthapuram, was identified as JS Siddharth. He was found hanging in his hostel room on February 18.

The Governor, in the order of suspension, stated that the report provided by the Vice Chancellor, M R Saseendranath, clearly demonstrated a severe negligence of duty on his part during the events that led to the death of 20-year-old Sidhharth on February 18.

The Governor also expressed concern over the Vice Chancellor's negligence and has ordered a judicial probe into the incident.

The report highlights the victim's stomach being empty, suggesting a horrifying denial of food and drink for over 36 hours. The governor expressed disbelief over the fact that such brutal activities could occur on the university campus without anyone being aware.

"The post-mortem report reveals that this is a pure case of murder, not ragging. The postmortem report (PM) shows his stomach empty, which means he was not allowed to eat or drink for more than 36 hours. How is it possible that this kind of torture and activity happens inside the university campus but no one from the university gets to know about it? " Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said.

Furthermore, the governor shed light on the alleged involvement of student organisations, specifically the SFI (Students Federation of India), which reportedly converted a hostel into its headquarters for various activities. He also raised questions about the silence prevailing for almost three days and criticised the university for not reporting the matter to the chancellor until recently.

"In every university, SFI has converted one hostel into the headquarters, for their activities. SFI and PFI are working together. I have received reports from Wayanad that some of these people involved are sympathisers of PFI. I am not going to blame the police. When the ruling party does not allow them, how can they work? It's a huge failure on the part of university authorities. This torture continues for almost 3 days and nobody knows about it. It was the duty of the university to report the matter to the chancellor, they did it yesterday. So we decided to suspend the vice chancellor," Arif Mohammed Khan said.

On March 1, T Jayaprakash, the father of the veterinary student, alleged that the death of his son (Siddharth) seemed to be a "murder 'sponsored' by the leaders and workers of the SFI."

Talking to ANI, Jayaprakash said that one of the friends of Sidhharth informed him that the death of his son was a well-planned murder, adding that 'brutal ragging' is regular in the college.

According to police, twenty-year-old JS Sidhharth was found hanging in his hostel room on February 18.

Earlier on Friday, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan also visited Sidhharth's house in Thiruvananthapuram's Nedumangad and met his parents.

The family met the governor two days ago and handed over a complaint regarding the incident.

It is a case of murder and not suicide, Siddharth's relative told reporters on Thursday, alleging that Siddharth was brutally attacked by a group of students inside the campus.

Following the incident, Kerala police arrested six people in connection with the death of the student. Another person was detained for questioning on the same day.

Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan alleged that the police are protecting the accused and urged action against the teachers for allegedly trying to cover up the matter.

Law Minister P Rajeev assured action against the accused, irrespective of the organisation they belong to.

"Action will be taken against any culprits, irrespective of the organisation they belong to," Rajeev said. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the state police chief to form a special investigation team to look into the death of the student and assured strong action against the accused. (ANI)

 
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