Eyewitnesses of the murder of Dheeraj Rajendran, an engineering student and Student Federation of India (SFI) member in Idukki Engineering college in Kerala, have alleged that twelve Youth Congress workers and Kerala Student Union workers attacked him on January 10, Monday.
SFI area committee member and college student Tony told the media that Nikhil Paily, the prime suspect in the case, was involved in other clashes earlier. "Some outsiders, the Youth Congress workers, were standing outside the campus. Then the Youth Congress Mandalam president Nikhil Paily stabbed three students using a small knife. Around 12 Congress and Youth Congress workers were involved in this, Just one KSU member who is a student at the college was with them, all others were outsiders," he alleged.
Another eyewitness KG Sathyan, a local political leader, also told media that the suspect Nikhil Paily was near the scene of the incident even after Dheeraj was stabbed.
"I was on my way to the district panchayat office. Suddenly, many students came running to me asking for help to take Dheeraj to hospital. When I turned the vehicle I saw Nikhil Paily near the bus stop and seeing us he ran in the other direction. Dheeraj was breathing when we took him to hospital," he said. Nikhil Paily is in police custody.
KSU state president KM Abhijith told media that the party strongly condemned the murder and they will not protect the accused in any manner.
"We always believe and say that nobody should be assaulted or attacked in the name of ideology difference. Police should do a proper investigation in this. All action should be taken against the accused," Abhijith said.
There are also allegations that police did not accept the request of the students to take Dheeraj to hospital immediately after he was stabbed.
"College election works have been going on in the college for the last few days. There were minor issues between both the student organisations. He [Dheeraj] was shifted to a medical college but could not be saved," police told PTI.
Abjijith and Amal are the two other students who were injured in the attack. Police said the condition of one person is serious.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death and said attempts to create violence in campuses cannot be accepted.
"The murder of Dheeraj Rajendran, a student of Idukki Painavu Government Engineering College and an SFI activist, is extremely sad and highly condemnable. Attempts to create violence in college campuses will not be allowed under any circumstances. Police have been directed to bring Dheeraj's killers to justice as soon as possible," Vijayan said.
With PTI inputs