SFI activist's murder triggers political clashes across Kerala

The workers of the Congress and the DYFI clashed in Malappuram.

The murder of Students Federation of India (SFI) activist Dheeraj Rajendran at Government Engineering College, Idukki, allegedly by a Youth Congress member on Monday triggered clashes between the political rivals in different parts of Kerala.

Maharaja's College, Ernakulam, witnessed tense moments after the news of the murder broke. Eleven activists of the Kerala Students Union (KSU), Congress' student wing, suffered injuries in clash with the activists of the SFI on the campus. The clash followed a protest march carried out by the SFI following the Idukki murder.

The injured KSU workers were admitted to the General Hospital, Ernakulam.

Activists of the CPM and its youth and student wings took out protest marches across the state, leading to confrontation with Congress activists in some areas.

The workers of the Congress and the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) clashed in Malappuram. The party workers engaged in skirmish as the DYFI march passed near the Congress' zonal convention attended by KPCC chief K Sudhakaran. Youth Congress workers attending the convention countered the DYFI activists by raising slogans. Workers of the Youth Congress and the DYFI came close to exchanging blows, leading to a tense situation in the area. Leaders of both the groups pacified the angry lot.

In Kannur's Thaliparamba, the home town of the murdered SFI activist, a Congress office was pelted with stones allegedly by SFI members. The windowpanes of the Congress office at Thrichambaram were vandalised and flag posts dismantled. Local Congress leaders said SFI supporters unleashed the attack during their protest march.

Congress office at Perambra in Kozhikode was also attacked. A glass door and windowpanes of the office were pelted with stones after 5 pm. The attack happened after a protest march of the SFI in the area.

SFI-DYFI activists tried to vandalise the car of Kollam MP N K Premachandran at Chavara. The protesters smashed the glasses and bonnet of the car using sticks. Premachandran, whose RSP belongs to the Congress-led United Democratic Front, was on his way to a party meet.

KSU's flag post was vandalised at Musaliar College in Pathanamthitta.

SFI activists took out a march from Thiruvananthapuram University College to the Kerala Secretariat. They destroyed Congress posters amid the march.

In Alappuzha, SFI-DYFI activists took out a march towards District Congress Committee office.

SFI activist Dheeraj Rajendran, 21, was allegedly stabbed by Youth Congress functionary Nikhil Paili. Two other SFI members – Abhijith and Amal – were also critically injured in the attack and have been hospitalised.

The police arrested Paili from a bus while he was trying to flee the district hours after the incident.

Reports said the activists of the two organisations clashed during the student body union election, leading to the murder. SFI has been ruling the student union of the college for years.

Dheeraj was a native of Palakkulangara near Thaliparamba in Kannur. He was stabbed on the neck. Though he was rushed to the Government Medical College Hospital, Idukki, his life could not be saved.

Dheeraj is the son of Rajendran, an LIC agent, and Kala, a nurse at Thaliparamba Taluk Ayurveda Hospital. His younger brother Adwaith is a first-year under graduate student.

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