Rape threat, casteist attack: 10 SFI members booked on complaint of AISF woman leader

AISF members were reportedly attacked after the election to the senate of the MG University in Kottaym on Thursday.

Kottayam: Seven leaders of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) have been booked under nonbailable charges for allegedly assaulting a female member of the All India Students' Federation (AISF) during the Senate and Students' Council elections of the MG University on Thursday.

SFI's Ernakulam district president and secretary are among those accused of assaulting the woman leader, who along with three other colleagues had got admitted to the Medical College Hospital after the incident.

The action has been initiated on Tony Kuriakose, Prejith K Babu, Shiyas Ismail, Ashim, Sudhin, Deepak, Amal and three 'known persons' after the victim filed a complaint with the district police chief.

They have been booked under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act sections 3(1)(r) that pertains to "intentionally insulting or intimidating with intent to humiliate a member of a SC or a ST in any place within public view" and 3(1)(s) related to "abusing any member of a SCT or a ST by caste name in any place within public view".

Besides, charges under eight Indian Penal Code sections, including "assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty" and "physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures" have been levelled against the accused.

Addressing the media, the woman member of AISF said that the incident has caused her immense mental trauma. "I faced extreme humiliation. They abused me using derogatory terms and unleashed a casteist attack. My fellow women candidates were scared." The woman has also alleged that the accused made rape threats.

AISF that is the students' wing of CPI had not contested along with SFI that is part of the CPM even though their parent organisations are part of the same Left front.

With KSU (Kerala Students Union), which is affiliated with Congress keeping away from the contest alleging malpractice in the electioneering procedures, the SFI made a clean sweep of the 30 seats.

However, after the elections, SFI and AISF members clashed and were separated by the police.

Minister clarifies
The AISF members have alleged that one of the assailants was part of Higher Education Minister R Bindu's personal staff.

However, the minister refuted the allegations through a Facebook post.

"It was reported that one of my office staff was involved in the incident. I don't have such staff in my office," the minister noted.

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