Eight students have been booked for allegedly beating up IIT-Madras PhD scholar R Sooraj after the latter took part in a ‘beef fest’ in the campus on Sunday night. The accused have been booked under IPC Sections 147 (Punishment for rioting), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506(1) (criminal intimidation). The victim, whose right eye has been severely injured, has also been booked under IPC Section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and Section 341 (wrongful restraints).
B Anoop, a witness to the incident, said he was having lunch with Sooraj in the college canteen when the group approached them. “They asked Sooraj whether he had attended the beef fest and eaten beef. Sooraj replied that he had. When they threatened him, he protested. Immediately, they started hitting him on the head. As I tried to stop the attackers, others who had gathered there prevented me…the leader of the gang kept on hitting Sooraj on his face,” he said.
Sooraj, a PhD scholar in aerospace engineering at IIT-Madras, was attacked by a group of students allegedly led by an ABVP sympathiser, Manish. “On Monday, he (Manish) had threatened a few other students too,” an IIT-M official alleged. “After he went around saying he wanted to kill those who eat beef, a PhD student who was threatened had filed a complaint with the campus security.” On Monday, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan denounced the attack and requested his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi K. Palaniswami to take necessary action.
A group of 70 to 80 students held the beef festival on Sunday evening to demonstrate against the Centre’s notification on cattle sale rules. Beef is not banned in Tamil Nadu.