Classes resume at Pookode Veterinary College; more CCTV cameras installed in hostels

The Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) campus at Pookode in Wayanad. Photo: Special arrangement.

Vythiri: Classes resumed yesterday at the College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences in Pookode, Wayanad, which was shut down pending an investigation into the death of second-year graduate student Sidharthan J S. While most female students returned to the campus, the majority of boys did not turn up.

The college was closed on March 4 after student organisations launched protests due to agitations following the death of Sidharthan, who was brutally assaulted by his hostel mates. Meanwhile, after the new vice-chancellor assumed charge, the university initiated reform measures, including enhancing security, additional CCTV cameras in hostels, and more teachers being assigned hostel duties.

In response to the anti-ragging squad’s recommendations, which included time restrictions on student movement within the campus, further measures are expected to be implemented in the coming days. Sidharthan was found dead in his hostel room washroom on February 18.

Staffers not paid salary in colleges under Veterinary University
The distribution of salaries in colleges under Pookode Veterinary University has been disrupted due to the university not receiving the allocated funds from the government. This month, 1,250 employees have not received their salaries, and amid the state government’s financial crisis, it is anticipated that salary distribution may face further delays.

An annual budget of Rs 95 crore is allocated for salaries and other expenses of the university, distributed in monthly instalments. However, the due instalment of Rs 7.86 crore for this month remains unpaid. To cover the salaries of the university staff and seven other centres, a total of Rs 9.7 crore is required. The primary sources of income for the university include the sale of poultry products such as chicken and eggs, in addition to the annual fees from students. The university has been grappling with a significant financial crisis for several years, exacerbated by falling revenues from farm produce.

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