Veterinary varsity death: CPM protecting culprits who tortured my son, says father

Sidharth. Photo: Special Arrangement

Wayanad: "My son was beaten to death and there is a high-level collusion to protect the culprits,” said T Jayaprakash, the father of Sidharth J S, a second-year student of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University at Pookkode who was found hanged to death.

“The party is protecting them because all the culprits are CPM activists including the SFI leaders,” Jayaprakasha told Onmanorama.

A native of Nedumangad, Thiruvananthapuram, Sidhardh was found hanging in the toilet of the university hostel on February 18.

Talking to Onmanorama over the phone, Jayaprakash said that there is sufficient information to believe that Sidharth was tortured brutally for many days, beaten to death and hanged in the toilet.

"He (Sidharth) was even denied food for many days,” he said. “Many students who visited us and those who spoke to us over the phone told us that he was tortured by some senior students and some of his classmates,” he said.

Jayaprakash said that he had passed on the names of the suspected students to the investigating team. “I am sure that my son would not have ended his life. He faced no financial constraints and he had also enjoyed his studies. Only recently he told me that he wanted to pursue higher studies in wildlife after his BVSc. How could I believe that a person like him could end his life,” Jayaprakash asked.

“We did not know exactly what happened till we received the postmortem report. The investigating team gave us that. The report clearly states that he was tortured for many days before his death. There were torture marks all over his body, including the neck and skull. He had also suffered internal injuries,” he said.

Suspicion also arose because the university authorities never informed the family about the tragedy. "They even threatened the students against revealing the incidents to us," said.

Faith in the investigation team
Commenting over the ongoing investigation, Jayaprakash said that he has full faith in the investigation team. "But all the accused are SFI leaders and are backed by the party. I am afraid that the party has clipped the probe team's wings. Even after 10 days, there have been no arrests so far. The delay in arrest indicates the involvement of the party in providing safe hideouts for the culprits,” he said.

“Whatever it takes, I will pursue the case till justice is served.,” he said. “I lost my son. Now I am fighting for all other parents whose children are studying elsewhere; also to ensure that no other student suffers his fate,” said Jayaprakash.

The case
Sources say the trigger for the alleged torture was Sidhardh's dance with the girls from the senior class on Valentine's Day. There was some quarrel and a few students beat him up. According to sources, a senior humiliated him publically and was made strip after a kangaroo court found him guilty.

Though Vythiri police initially registered a case for unnatural death, a case under the Kerala Prohibition of Ragging Act 1998 was registered against 12 students including the unit secretary of the CPM-affiliated SFI and KVASU students’ union president. The academic dean of the varsity suspended the students on Friday based on the recommendation of the Anti-Ragging Squad of the UGC.

KVASU student union president K Arun, union member Asif Khan, SFI unit secretary Amal Ihsan, K Akhil, R S Kashinathan, J Ajay, Ameen Akbar Ali, Sinjo Johnson, (senior students), and E K Saud Risal, A Althaf, Muhammed Danish and V Adithyan (all Sidharth's classmates).

However, the investigating officer Kalpetta DySP Sajeev T N told Onmanorama that the investigation team had not arrested the accused. "All of them are absconding now and we have strengthened our surveillance," he said, adding that all the accused would be arrested soon.

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