Sidharthan’s death: Governor hits out at CPM, says party instilling cult of violence in youth

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According to Khan, he received a complaint from the victim's family and was forwarded to the Director General of Police (DGP). Photo: Special arrangement.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan lamented the CPM's encouragement of what he called the "cult of violence" in Kerala. He was speaking to the media after visiting the parents of Siddharth J S, the 20-year-old veterinary student who was reportedly subjected to mob violence in college and was found hanging in the hostel bathroom on February 18, at their house at Nedumangad in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.

The Governor said that everyone was aware that the SFI was behind Siddharth's death. "Both the police and the University have admitted this," he said. "The real problem is the cult of violence," he said. 

The Governor said it was unfortunate that the cult of violence was being promoted in the state. Khan did not specifically name the CPM but left no one in doubt about which party he was referring to. 

He said that it was only last week that "senior leaders of a political party" were convicted for "killing one of their own colleagues who had dissented with them". He was referring to T P Chandrasekharan's murder.

Governor Khan quoted the great Soviet dissident and writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to emphasise that violence was inherent to the ideology of communism. "Solzhenitsyn said those who adopted violence as a method believed in the legitimacy of violence," he said.

Photo: Special arrangement.

The Governor, who has been seriously provoked by the aggressive tactics of the SFI in the last three months, used the occasion to vilify both the CPM and the SFI. "Here, young people are being trained in violence, in high-handedness, and in bullying others. There is no greater proof of this than the judgment in the murder of T P Chandrasekharan," the Governor said.

As an ideology, the Governor hinted that communism had gone way past its sell-by date. "This was branded as a revolution in the early 1920s. But everywhere this system has collapsed. Why? Because this system ran on violence, in the suppression of spirit. Unfortunately in Kerala, it is still going on," the Governor said.

He was relatively lenient on the SFI. "These youngsters are merely pawns. I won't blame them so much," he said. The Governor suggested that it was all part of a vile CPM strategy to trap the SFI cadres in various police and court cases. "These cases continue for decades. And if anyone caught in these cases applies for some job, or even for passports, a police report is required. This is the whole purpose," Governor Khan said. "They want to create a whole army of people who cannot apply for a job anywhere, cannot apply for even passports, and so are forced to be dependant on some political leader," he said.

He said the youths were unthinkingly falling into the trap set by the party. "They are given some temporary benefits and they do not realise that their future is at stake. I feel extremely sad about it," he said.

Meanwhile, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has demanded a comprehensive investigation into the death of Sidharthan. ABVP State Joint Secretary Amal Manoj and Wayanad District Secretary Yadukrishnan have begun a 24-hour-long hunger strike in front of the Pookkode Veterinary College, calling for the immediate arrest of individuals linked to the incident.

ABVP central working committee member NCT Srihari inaugurated the strike. They assert that the police are still searching in the dark even after 12 days, including an SFI unit secretary purportedly on the run. The ABVP activists also alleged the supportive role of CPM district secretary Gagarin towards the accused.

Amal Manoj has highlighted the incredulity of the Hostel Warden's (also the college dean) lack of awareness of the ragging. Amal stated that an action by the college has been taken only against 12 out of the 18 implicated—all identified as active SFI workers.

The ABVP warns of intensifying their protest unless immediate arrests are made. Currently, ABVP national executive committee member Yadukrishnan, and state committee members Abhinav and Anagha led the strike.

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