The death of 18-year-old Jishnu Pranoy, a student of Nehru College of Engineering, Pambady, has become a rallying point for students all across Kerala. Many are protesting demanding justice for Jishnu, while others have used the opportunity to speak up about bizarre rules in their respective colleges.
This simmering anger has reached the gates of a prominent private law college in the state capital, forcing it to shut down indefinitely.
Kerala Law Academy Law College in Thiruvananthapuram with prominent celebrity cook and television anchor Lekshmi Nair as Principal, closed down on Fridayfollowing student union protests.
On Sunday, a protest march held by SFI turned violent, when they clashed with the police while trying to vandalize the college property.
In a joint press meet held on Friday, KSU, MSF and AISF accused Lekshmi Nair of “devoting more time to television programmes” than attending to the academic affairs of the college.
They also alleged that Lekshmi Nair denied them permission to protest against the death of Jishnu, which student unions across the state have termed as “an institutional murder.”
Representatives of the student unions alleged that Lekshmi denied them permission, as she feared that the management’s practices would be exposed. They went on to accuse her of using her discretion to arbitrarily award internal marks to the students and harass those students she did not approve of.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, a male student had accused Lekshmi Nair of "blackmailing" his father and warning him that his son would be ‘manhandled’. According to the student, the threat came after he asked the management to end its "favoritism".
Calling out the "injustice" meted out to the students, the student said that both the students and the teachers were suppressed by the management.
Students of the college came down heavily on the management, bringing to light many practices including the lack of annual college tour.
Lack of clean toilets, inappropriate placement of CCTV near ladies' washrooms and "strict measures" if boys and girls mingle, are among the other allegations against the management.
"There's no canteen on campus. The only thing we have is a tea stall that was opened after numerous protests. Not all students are given access to the moot court. Only students close to the management and those who do not voice their opinion are allowed entry," the students pointed out.
Meanwhile Lekshmi Nair told media that unions have been threatening her, her son and daughter-in-law who were studying in college.
She further said that students who were protesting against the management lacked the requisite percentage of mandatory attendance.