Sidharthan's death: CM seeks explanation over CBI probe; Home dept suspends three officials

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: The death of JS Sidharthan, a student at Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Wayanad's Pookode is back in headlines as his family criticised the government over the delay in the CBI probe into the alleged suicide and ragging case. Hours after facing criticism from Sidharthan's family, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Tuesday sought an explanation from the home secretary over the delay in the CBI probe.

He asked the officials to examine the reason for the delay in issuing the proforma report in the case and initiate action against those who are responsible for it. 

At the same time, the home department deputy secretary, section officer and assistant were suspended after finding lapses in dealing with the files related to the CBI probe into this case. Earlier, the home department secretary sought an explanation from these officials. The department initiated action against them after finding their explanation unsatisfactory.

Meanwhile, the latest reports confirmed that the department had sent the order seeking a CBI probe to the Kochi office of the central agency instead of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. This lapse came into light during the examination on Tuesday. Following this, the official order and proforma report were sent to the ministry.

The state government handed over the case to CBI on March 9 after Sidharthan's father visited the CM. Though the government issued the order on March 9, a copy of this was sent to the CBI office only on March 16. 

Sidharthan's father meets Opposition Leader
The Congress-led UDF on Tuesday accused the Left government in Kerala and the police of trying to save those responsible for the death of a student of the state-run College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Wayanad by delaying the transfer of the case to the CBI.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan alleged that by delaying the handover of the case to the CBI, the state government and the police were also trying to destroy evidence in the case. His statements on his Facebook page came after the father of 20-year-old Sidharthan JS, who was found hanging inside the bathroom of the college hostel on February 18, met Satheesan at his official residence at Cantonment House here.

After meeting Satheesan, the father spoke to reporters and claimed that his son was being harassed for eight months before his death according to a news report after Sidharathan's death. He also claimed that various senior SFI leaders were "camping" at the college for several months and his son was allegedly made to strip sit on his knees.

 "They were all aware of what was going on. They could have put an end to it back then. I cannot believe that the senior SFI leaders were unaware of what was happening there," he said. He further said that he came to meet Satheesan as he has faith in the opposition leader who has been helping him right from the start. "I can go and meet someone whom I can trust. Actually, I should be going to the party ruling the state and seeking justice. But, I am not going there as everyone knows what will happen if I do. I came to meet him (Satheesan) as I was 100 per cent confident he would help me," the father said. 

The victim's father also claimed that some women students were also named in the anti-ragging squad's report, but no police action has been taken against them or the dean. On Monday, a controversial order issued by the college reinstating 33 students who had been suspended earlier in connection with the student's death was cancelled after Governor Arif Mohammed Khan intervened.

(With PTI inputs)

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