Sidharthan’s death: Governor seeks report after VC revokes suspension of 33 students

Second-year student JS Sidharthan was found dead on February 18, and he was allegedly subjected to brutal assault for three days before his death. Photo: Manorama Online.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Monday intervened in the action of the Pookode Veterinary University Vice Chancellor, who revoked the suspension issued to 33 students in connection with the death of Sidharthan.

JS Sidharthan, who was a second-year student at the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Pookode, Wayanad, was found dead on February 18, after allegedly being subjected to brutal ragging and mob trials.

The Governor on Monday asked for an explanation from Vice Chancellor M R Saseendranath on why he failed to get legal advice before lifting the suspension of students. The suspension will be reimplemented if VC's explanation is unsatisfactory, Khan said.

The college’s Anti-Ragging Committee, after an investigation by the Anti-Ragging Squad, had expelled 31 students and suspended 90 students for seven days. They were punished for either taking part in the ragging or not reporting it. But the VC recently revoked the suspension of 33 students – including two students from the senior batch – following an appeal.

Though a majority of them had no direct involvement in the crime, nepotism and political influence have been cited behind the revocation of  suspension. As per the rules, the suspension can be revoked only after getting an expert opinion from the University’s Law officer.

According to legal experts, the relaxation given by the anti-ragging committee will favour the accused, who are currently in remand.

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