SFI responsible for Shaji's death: Sudhakaran visits Margamkali judge's residence

KPCC President Sudhakaran, PN Shaji. Photo: Manorama

Kannur: Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President and UDF candidate in the Kannur Lok Sabha elections K Sudhakaran on Thursday visited the home of P N Shaji, who took his own life following allegations of bribery during the Kerala University Youth Festival.

Sudhakaran asserted that the Student Federation of India (SFI) was responsible for Shaji's death. The CPM's students wing pressurised him after he declined to award first and second positions to individuals they recommended, he said. He also claimed that Shaji was physically assaulted.

"SFI is responsible for the unfortunate demise of this man. It is reported that when they insisted on awarding the first and second positions to specific individuals at the university youth festival, he resisted. I spoke with colleagues who collaborated with him, and they affirmed that Shaji was impartial and had not committed any wrongdoing. No complaints were lodged against him until the SFI raised allegations. He was also subjected to physical assault. Would a well-respected teacher succumb to such demands during a Margamkali competition? Is it justified? But SFI was adamant," Sudhakaran said.

Shaji's brother has claimed that some people contacted him on phone seeking his help to influence the results. Shaji, a competition judge at the fest, was taken into custody on an allegation of taking bribe to influence results. Shaji and three other judges were accused of taking bribes from middlemen. In his alleged suicide note, P N Shaji, who was a judge at the Margamkali competition, wrote that he did not take a bribe and only gave marks to those who deserved it. The second accused in the case Jomet has said that they were trapped in the case and that SFI activists assaulted them.
Read article: Muscle power: When mob takes over SFI on campuses.

Shaji was found dead at his residence in Kannur on Wednesday evening. His body will be brought home by Thursday afternoon following the completion of the post-mortem examination. Subsequently, the funeral proceedings will take place at Payyambalam. Shaji, a dance instructor, had been mentoring school and college students for numerous years. He had a small institute in Cherukunnu earlier.

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