On December 2, SFI leader Aparna Gowri was attacked at a college in Meppadi. The attack had followed the violence that happened at the election to the college students’ union.

Aparna Gowri lying on an orange stretcher in the hospital, supported with an oxygen mask, wearing a blue dress, covered by a white blanket.. Twitter/VP Sanu
news Crime Tuesday, December 06, 2022 - 17:37

On Monday, December 5, 20-year-old Abhinav AK of Valiakode in Kerala’s Kozhikode district was beaten up over an alleged political skirmish last week at the Government Polytechnic College, Meppadi, Wayanad. Abhinav, a student of the polytechnic college and a member of Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student wing of the Congress party, was beaten with hockey sticks, iron rods, and wooden boards hammered with nails, according to the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Perambra police.

The attack on Abhinav is allegedly retaliation for the violence on campus after the elections. According to the FIR, Abhinav was out with friends near his home in Perambra when eight persons arrived on bikes and thrashed him. The incident is said to have occurred around 9.45 pm. The FIR stated that the assault could have been fatal had Abhinav not blocked the blows to his head with the wooden board with his hands. “The reason behind the incident is that the complainant was believed to have been part of the violence in the Meppadi college,” the FIR said. Amarjith and seven other identifiable persons were booked under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 341 (wrongful restraint), 323 (causing hurt), 324 (causing hurt by dangerous weapons), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), and 149 (every member guilty of any offence committed by unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Perambra police told TNM that an investigation is underway. “We have recorded Abhinav’s statement. Other investigation procedures, including identification of the accused and the motive behind the attack, are ongoing,” the police said.

Speaking to the media, Abhinav said that he had no part in the violence that followed the college election and said that he had evidence to prove this. “I received blows in the police lathi charge that followed the election violence. But I had no part in the attack on Aparna,” he stated.

Abhinav alleged that the attackers had themselves said that they belonged to the SFI. “Two days back, they had come to my house to threaten me. I had told them that I was not part of Friday’s attack,” he said. “After the election, all students in the college were threatened that they would not be able to leave Meppadi. Now I don’t know if I will be able to go back to Meppadi,” he added. Abhinav said that he will legally proceed against the attackers.

Last Friday, Aparna Gowri, the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) Wayanad district joint secretary, was attacked at the same college. The attack had followed the violence that happened at the election to the college students’ union. The SFI had then alleged that a drug mafia was behind the attack. Aparna was admitted to a private medical college in the district following the attack. Four persons — Kiran Raj, Atul, Shibili, and Abin — were arrested for the assault.

Meppadi station head officer Vibin AB, who was on duty at the campus during the election, also suffered injuries in the attacks on Friday. He sustained a broken finger, was kicked in the stomach, and slapped on the face, according to the FIR. Alan Antony (20) was booked for the attack on the officer under sections 323 (causing hurt), 333 (causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from duty), 341 (wrongful restraint), 353 (assault to deter public servant from duty), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.

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