The deceased has been identified as 21-year-old Dheeraj Rajendran, a native of Kannur.

Dheeraj Rajendran
news Violence Monday, January 10, 2022 - 16:26

One student activist died and two others were seriously injured in clashes that broke out at the Government Engineering College in Kerala’s Idukki district on Monday, January 10. The deceased student has been identified as 21-year-old Dheeraj Rajendran, a native of Kannur and a member of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI). The SFI has alleged that Dheeraj was stabbed to death by members of the Youth Congress. 

According to the police, the clash between the two student outfits broke out over college elections, voting for which ended earlier on Monday. While Dheeraj succumbed to injuries, two other students, T Abhijith and Amal, are seriously injured and have been admitted to Idukki Medical College for treatment. 

The police have said that an argument ensued between members of the SFI and the Youth Congress over the election voting. The students were dispersed and shortly after, a gang accosted Dheeraj and others just outside the college. The SFI has alleged that one KSU activist from their college and Youth Congress attacked Dheeraj and others there, leading to Dheeraj’s death. 

The Idukki Engineering College Principal confirmed that one student has died and two others have sustained serious injuries in the incident and has said that the college and hostel will remain closed till further notice. 

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has condoled the student’s death and said that  “attempts to create riots in colleges will not be allowed under any circumstances.” 

“The murder of activist Dheeraj Rajendran is extremely sad and condemnable. Attempts to create riots in colleges will not be allowed under any circumstances. Police have been instructed to take action against Dheeraj's murderers as soon as possible. Condolence to Dheeraj's family, classmates and friends,” Pinarayi wrote in a Facebook post. 

Kerala Water Resources Minister Roshy Augustine has said that the incident was a “one-sided attack” and that there are no other issues at the college. Former Power Minister M M Mani alleged that there was a serious conspiracy behind the attack against the SFI leaders.

In a similar incident in July 2018, a student of Maharaja's college in Kochi, who was also a member of the Students Federation of India, which is the student wing of the ruling CPI(M), was stabbed to death inside the hostel premises. The incident had sent shockwaves across the state. SFI students and Campus Front of India (Student Wing of PFI) workers allegedly clashed inside the campus in which 20-year-old BSc Chemistry student Abhimanyu was killed. According to reports, the incident was triggered by an argument over sticking posters within the campus by the two groups. Abhimanyu was painting the walls of the campus to greet the new batch of students whose classes were to begin. 

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