Following the clashes, classes have been suspended for third, fifth and seventh-semester students till Tuesday.

4 Cochin University students injured as SFI and KSU members clash over hostel elections
news Clashes Saturday, July 27, 2019 - 18:48

Four students, some of whom were members of Kerala Students Union (KSU), were injured in a clash that broke out between rival student groups at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in Ernakulam district.

The scuffle broke out after election results to the post of hostel representatives in B.Tech men’s hostel in the university were announced. KSU members of the university have alleged that they were attacked by Students’ Federation of India (SFI) members. The brawl took place on Friday evening near a cafeteria outside the university campus in Kalamassery.

CCTV visuals showed a group of students sitting at a cafeteria being attacked by a larger group of students. The footage also shows a group of people coming in a car to the spot and attacking the students.

Elections were conducted to four posts of student’s representatives at Sahara hostel, the largest in the campus, which houses about 250 B.Tech students. SFI lost the election to a student’s front backed by KSU.

“SFI tried their best to defeat the student’s front whom we had supported in the election. But they could not win any of the four posts and lost by very large margins and the attack on the students was the result of that,” alleged Mazin Ibrahim, general secretary of KSU unit in the university, speaking to TNM.

Meanwhile, SFI has denied the allegations and have claimed that it was a scuffle which broke out between students after some rooms in the hostel were vandalised. Talking to TNM, Rahul Rajeevan, joint secretary of SFI in CUSAT, stated that students, including KSU members, destroyed the rooms of SFI members shortly after the election results were announced.

“After the election results came, they blocked the passage to the hostel and stopped us from entering. After a while when we finally entered the hostel, we could see that some of the rooms, including those belonging to SFI members, were vandalised. Things inside the room, including books and records, had been destroyed. The scuffle might be because of that and not over hostel election,” said Rajeev.

Meanwhile, Kalamassery police have filed a case against 15 students in connection with the scuffle. A case has been registered under Indian Penal Code sections 143 (Unlawful assembly), 147 (Rioting), 153 (Provocation with intent to cause riot), 283 (Danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence commit­ted in prosecution of common object).

Police officials told TNM that they have not been able to nab the accused students as the students have gone home for leave.

In the wake of tensions in the campus, the university authorities have suspended the classes for third, fifth and seventh-semester students of School of Engineering till Tuesday. 

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