An activist of Students Federation of India, the students’ wing of CPI(M), was stabbed to death, allegedly by a Youth Congress worker, at Government Engineering College in Kerala’s Idukki on Monday.
The victim, R Dheeraj, 21, was a seventh semester student of Computer Science and Engineering at the college, police said.
Hours after the incident, the accused, Nikhil Paily, a local Youth Congress (YC) leader, was arrested, police said.
According to police, Dheeraj, a native of Kannur, was killed on the college premises soon after voting for the election to the college union got over.
Two other students were seriously injured in the incident. The injured victims were identified as Abjijith and Amal, and the condition of one of them is serious, PTI reported.
The murder led to a war of words between CPI(M) and opposition Congress.
While state Higher Education Minister R Bindu said a gang led by a YC leader attacked the students and CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters that the murder was planned and this was the 21st Left worker killed in the state over the last six years, PTI quoted state Congress chief K Sudhakaran as saying, “We all know who is behind all the attacks. It’s the SFI which terrorises campuses. They don’t have any right to blame us…”
Calling the murder “extremely sad and highly condemnable”, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “Attempts to create violence in college campuses will not be allowed under any circumstances. Police have been directed to bring Dheeraj’s killers to justice as soon as possible.”
The SFI called for a boycott of classes across the state on Tuesday. Following the murder, a few incidents of face-off were seen on campuses elsewhere in the state, but nothing untoward was reported.
Alleging that Congress workers had unleashed violence in Kerala after Sudhakaran assumed office as party’s state unit chief, Balakrishnan said, “In the last six years, CPI(M) has lost 21 workers — they were killed by Congress, BJP and SDPI (activists). Sudhakaran is provoking the party workers to take up arms.”
He also alleged, “The murder in Idukki took place with the connivance of senior Congress leaders.”
According to PTI, Sudhakaran told the media, “Let the people of Kerala decide who is more violent. Can anyone provide any details about any campus in the state where KSU (students’ wing of the Congress) has called for an attack?…. They (SFI) need to introspect the reason behind the murder.”