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Sooraj has suffered serious injuries to his right eye.

IIT-Madras scholar who joined campus beef fest attacked allegedly by right wing student
news Cattle rules Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 18:24

A PhD scholar from IIT Madras was allegedly attacked by a group of eight students belonging to a right wing group for participating in the beef fest held on Sunday night.

Sooraj R, a PhD scholar from the department of Aerospace in IIT-Madras was allegedly attacked by eight students, a on Tuesday afternoon. He has been seriously injured in his right eye and has been admitted to Sankara Nethralaya Eye Hospital in Nungambakkam.

He is a member of the Dalit students body - Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle. “The incident happened around 2pm at the IIT mess inside the campus. A group of eight people headed by an IIT student Manish from the Ocean Engineering department came to the mess and first asked Sooraj his name and later started hitting him. He has severe nose bleeding and he is unable to open his right eye. Sooraj was a participant in the beef fest, not an organiser,” said an IIT student.

The students had allegedly threatened them saying they have a list of all the students who participated in the IIT beef fest. “Manish had raised death threats against another PhD student earlier. A complaint was filed with dean and campus security,” the student said.

Though Sooraj's friends say that a group of students attacked him, another student from IIT-M, who did not want to be named said that the fight had erupted between two students over eating beef and there was no 'group' involved. "Manish asked Sooraj about eating beef. There was a tussle between them. It happened too fast. But yes, Manish attacked first," a student said.

Following Tuesday’s attack on Sooraj, another complaint was filed with the security wing and with the dean.

However, a spokesperson from IIT Madras told TNM that they did not have any information about the incident as the institute is shut till June 2, 2017.

The Kotturpuram police inspector said that no complaints have been filed at the police station.

On Sunday night, students of IIT Madras had a conducted beef fest, protesting the Centre’s new rules banning the sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets. A video showing students eating beef had circulated on social media. There were about 70 IIT-M students who participated in the beef fest.

Following the beef fest, BJP national secretary H Raja had demanded that the IIT Madras students who organised the beef fest be suspended. 

The IIT-Madras campus has witnessed frequent skirmishes between the APSC and other right-wing student groups. In July last year, APSC students had protested against the Indology conference hosted in the IIT-M campus by Indology professor Rajiv Malhotra. There have also been questions raised by some sections of students over the indirect adoption of Hindu fundamentalist ideology through conferences and events. A lecture by retired army officer, Major General GD Bakshi had sparked off protests in August 2016, with some students writing a letter to the institute's director accusing him of hate-mongering and attempting to incite violence. 


The first update had erroneously mentioned that Manish and friends were part of Vivekananda Study Circle. We deeply regret the error.

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