Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan censured in strongest terms the stabbing of a third-year student at the University College in Thiruvananthapuram allegedly by activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPM.
"What has happened should never happen in an educational institution. The government will take strong action. Everyone has understood that by now. There will be no laxity in (police) proceedings," the chief minister told reporters at a press briefing in the state capital.
Earlier today, the Cantonment police in Thiruvananthapuram arrested R Sivaranjith and AN Naseem, the president and secretary of the now-disbanded SFI unit of the college respectively, in connection with the near-fatal stabbing of Akhil Chandran, the third-year undergraduate student at the college. Four other men, who are all members of the SFI unit, have also been detained and remanded to police custody for alleged involvement in the case.
On Friday, Akhil was stabbed allegedly by Sivaranjith and Naseem for defying the orders of the SFI, that runs the college student union. When Akhil and a few of his friends sang a song in the college canteen a few days earlier, it invited the wrath of the SFI unit. Akhil, who is preparing to be a professional weight-lifting athlete, is undergoing treatment at the Medical College hospital and is stable.
The arrest of Sivaranjith has also unravelled allegations of cheating in university examinations as a bundle of blank university answer-sheets were recovered by the police from his residence, along with a couple of official seals of the physical training department.
The ruling CPM has distanced itself from its student wing, underlining that it will not attempt to protect the culprits in the case. The six leaders, arrested so far in the case, have been expelled from the SFI and the unit disbanded. They have been suspended from the college indefinitely as well.