Srilamanthula Chandramohan, former student of Faculty of Fine Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), who set afire the cabin of the Vice-Chancellor at the university head office on February 2 and was sent to judicial custody on February 5, has moved a bail application before a local court. Chandramohan, 53, who is a bachelor, has sought bail on “humanitarian grounds”, urging the court to consider the background of the incidents that have led to his “disturbed state of mind”.
In the bail application filed before the court on Monday, Chandramohan, who has been booked for attempt to murder and arson has pleaded that he is the “only earning member of his family”, which is a “poor, rural family from a remote village in Andhra Pradesh”. According to Chandramohan’s advocate, Chetan Parmar, the bail application has sought his release on compassionate grounds.
“We have urged the court to consider his grievance, which is not having received his degree for 11 years and the prejudice against him that led to this decision of the university. It has left a talented person like him in a state of imbalance and he is not in a fit state of mind. We are not justifying his act (of setting the university head office on fire) but we have said that he has not committed this act in his fit mental capacity. He is disturbed. Also, he is the only earning member of his family and his parents are old and poor, so on humanitarian grounds, he should be granted bail.”
According to sources, several professors of MSU have come forward in their personal capacities to help Chandramohan furnish his bail bond, if necessary. However, according to advocate Parmar, Chandramohan has already found a guarantor, who is backing his petition. Parmar said, “We have a guarantor ready in case a bond has to be furnished. The hearing for the bail application should take place in a day or two.”
On February 2, Chandramohan had arrived at the university head office, armed with a bottle of petrol and a weapon. He had allegedly sought to meet Vice-Chancellor Parimal Vyas, who was out of office. On being told that the meeting was not possible, Chandramohan asked the V-C’s personal assistant to vacate the cabin, making his intention of setting it on fire, known. Within minutes, Chandramohan had doused the cabin with fuel and lit a matchstick, and raging flames engulfed the entire floor, gutting several offices on the floor. The security guards had caught hold of Chandramohan and handed him over to the Sayajigunj police. He has been charged for arson under Section 436 and attempt to murder under section 307 of the IPC.