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A 19-year-old Dalit student was allegedly beaten up by members of Students Federation of India (SFI), the students’ wing of ruling CPI(M), at the University College in Thiruvananthapuram. Arun, a first year degree student of Philosophy, claimed he was dragged out from the class on Friday evening and attacked by SFI activists as he was a member of Kerala Students Union, the students outfit of the Congress, police said.
Hailing from nearby Aryanad, he suffered injuries and was undergoing treatment at the state-run general hospital in Thiruvananthapuram. Political differences had led to the attack on him. A case was registered against a group of students under IPC Sections including 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) and a search was on to nab them, they said.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala hit out against the attack and demanded stern action against those behind it.
The incident follows just a month after the ruling CPI (M) government came under fire for the arrest of two Dalit sisters who questioned alleged casteist remarks made by CPM leaders against them in CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s home district Kannur. The sisters belonged to a Congress family in CPM-dominated Kuttimakkool, near Thalassery. Their father N Rajan had contested against CPM in the last local body polls. Trouble started after Anjana (25) and Akhila (30) dared to barge into a CPM branch office on June 11 to confront party leaders over the alleged insults.
But the issue got another twist after one of the sisters, Anjana, attempted suicide by consuming sleeping pills. Relatives alleged that Anjana was driven to suicide by a CPM leader’s comment on a TV channel calling the sisters a public nuisance.