Protest against SFI after student stabbed in T’puram's University College

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Protest against SFI after student stabbed in T’puram's University College

In another scuffle involving the SFI in the University College in Thiruvananthapuram, a final year Bachelor of Arts (BA) student was stabbed on Friday.  Akhil, a political science student, who suffered injuries to his chest, was taken to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College for treatment after. 

The incident has led to a huge outcry against the Student’s Federation of India (SFI) — the students wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), whose members are alleged to have stabbed Akhil. Following the incident, angry students at the University College on Friday slammed the functioning of the SFI unit at the college, forcing the union's national president to disband the college unit.

Akhil was a committee member of SFI. He and his friends were singing under a tree and suddenly a few SFI unit members came to him and told him not to sing. There was an argument after that. In a clash that followed, Akhil was stabbed by members of the SFI.

Seven SFI unit members and 23 others who could be 'indentified on site' have been booked followig the incident. The accused include SFI college unit president Sivaranjith, unit secretary Nazeem, Amar, Advaith, Adhin, Aromal and Ibrahim. Both Nazeem and Amar have also been booked in a case of assaulting traffic police officers in Palayam in December 2018. The case was registered based on the statements of Akhil's friend and batchmate Ubair. The 7 accused have been booked under IPC section 307 (attempt to murder). All the accused are currently absconding. The protesting students have alleged that soon after the stabbing, the accused were present on campus and though there was a police presence on campus as well, the accused were not detained. 

"We are all supporters of the SFI, but today the 13 unit members in the college are acting like fascists. No one can freely move around the college and if we sit around a tree or sing songs, we are abused, beaten and chased away," one of the protesting students said. "There is total disarray and we are forced to speak against SFI, to whom we all belong," he added.

Speaking to media, a student said, "In order to become part of the student's union, you cannot have supplementary papers. But our college chairman never even goes to class. I don't know what kind of rules these are. Here if they have the power, they will do anything. They will hit people and abuse girls and do anything. It is fully fascist." 

Reacting to the situation, SFI President VP Sanu told the media that it has been decided to dismiss the SFI unit of the University College. "The other details of what happened are being ascertained and we will take action if any member of the SFI is involved," Sanu said.

Following the incident, angry students of the college protested by blocking the main road, forcing the police to act. "Akhil was sitting under a tree and singing a song. Soon the unit members came and started to beat him badly. The unit members know that whatever they do, they will get the necessary support from the CP(M). What happened to the probe when a girl tried to commit suicide?" another protesting student asked. 

Akhil's father Chandran told the media that his son had been threatened by SFI leaders in the past and following a conciliation meeting which also involved the CPI(M) district secretary, he had been assured that there would be no more trouble.

Meanwhile, University College Principal K Viswambharan tried to play down the incident, saying he was busy with new admissions and is yet to find out what occurred. He also asked the media to clear out from the college campus and threatened to call the police.

(With inputs from IANS)