Campus violence is an integral part of Kerala politics, another feather in the cap of the so-called ‘Kerala Model’ that left-liberals wax eloquent about. Students of Thiruvananthapuram Law College belonging to the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the Kerala Students Union (KSU) attacked each other. A young lady was dragged while being kicked and beaten all along and a video of the same has gone viral on social media.
SFI is affiliated with the Communist party while the KSU cadres are Congress supporters. The lady belonged to the KSU and was identified as Safna Yakub, the unit president. College elections have just concluded and the SFI has ‘won’ in 117 colleges out of 126, in Kerala. Such lop-sided results tell their own tale of how ‘free and fair’ such elections are.
The incident happened on the 15th of this month, on the day that newly formed college unions were inaugurated. Others injured include general secretary Ashik Ashraf and Nithin Thampi, both from the KSU, and an SFI unit committee member, Anandu. Following the assault, all four were admitted to the medical college hospital.
Trouble started to brew as soon as the results were announced and it is not confined to this college alone. Sloganeering and celebrations usually happen in the open but a light rain meant that they were conducted inside the classrooms. Violence erupted at around 8 pm and it is not clear why the festivities were allowed at night.
Though the communist students won most of the seats, a few were grabbed by the KSU as well. For example, the vice-chairman seat in this college was won by the KSU.
It all began as an argument and soon the students started attacking each other. SFI students assaulted Ashraf and the KSU pupils led by Yakub rushed to his assistance. She was brutally beaten and when she fell, the dragging began. By then the action had moved out into the open and more students jumped in.
The violence continued even after the injured were shifted to the medical college. Only the venue shifted and conflict moved to the medical college where they were admitted. It was only then that the police intervened and defused the situation, albeit temporarily.
The blame game began immediately. SFI fans accused an unknown KSU male student of arriving drunk at the inauguration and added that he grabbed one of the communist girl students by her arms. Both SFI and KSU have lodged complaints at the museum police station.
Video footage shows Yakub, the woman activist of the KSU, being severely thrashed by a group of SFI members. She said the SFI members resented the fact that KSU had won a few seats in the college election and added that it was the SFI who attacked first.
Unopposed, communist violence is guaranteed to spread and what we saw a couple of days back is just the beginning. This is not the first incidence of violence on this particular campus and this campus is not the only one that saw communist violence in the recent past.