Sidharthan's death: KSU protest turns violent, statewide education bandh on Tuesday

Police use water canon against the protesters. Photo: Manorama

Wayanad: Activists of student groups KSU and MSF clashed with the police during a protest march to the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) at Pookode here on Monday. Cops lathicharged the activists and fired tear gas to disperse the protesters. Several activists were injured in the clash. 

KSU has announced an ‘Education Bandh’ in the state on Tuesday. KSU state president Aloshious Xavier in a press release said the agitation would be extended to all institutions across the state. 

The student activists led the protest march to the university seeking justice for Sidharthan (21), a second-year student who was found hanging inside the hostel toilet. Sidharthan was subjected to brutal torture and mob trial allegedly by SFI activists on the campus.

The protest march turned violent when police tried to block the activists from entering the campus. The agitated MSF and KSU activists destroyed the barricades and pelted stones at the police provoking them to crush the protest with an iron fist. Later, police resorted to lathi-charge and used water cannon and tear gas against the protesters. 

Congress MLA T Siddique condemned the police action and declared that UDF will intensify protest in the coming days. 

It has been decided to shift the base of its hunger strike. KSU district president Goutham Gokuldas would now continue his strike from Thiruvananthapuram. Youth Congress state president Rahul Mankoottathil and Mahila Congress state president Jebi Mather MP began their indefinite hunger strike on Monday.

KSU organised the protest march to the university alleging lapses of the authority to take disciplinary action against the Dean of the university who also serves as warden of the men's hostel. Though Minister J Chinchu Rani has given directions to suspend the dean and assistant warden of the hostel on Sunday, an official order regarding this is yet to be issued. 

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