Suicide attempt by a Dalit student in Kerala turns into a political conflict

Following these rumours, the girl’s engagement was called off.
Suicide attempt by a Dalit student in Kerala turns into a political conflict
Suicide attempt by a Dalit student in Kerala turns into a political conflict
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On Sunday evening, a girl student of the RLV College of Fine Arts at Tripunithura in Ernakulam district attempted to kill herself. The suicide attempt has turned in to a huge political fight between SFI and ABVP workers inside the campus.

The girl student is a Dalit and an ABVP worker. Many media reports alleged that this was an example of the Left torturing a Dalit. College authorities have suspended classes till Monday after a huge clash between the two political factions which also lead to arrests.

Tension has been prevailing in the campus for two weeks now after posters were stuck by unidentified persons on a private girls’ hostel, where the girl had been staying and inside the college campus, alleging a relationship between an SFI leader and the student. Following these rumours, the girl’s engagement was called off.

“She came to me and complained. We called her parents, teachers and students organisations for a meeting, decided to complain to the police and Women's commission. But the girl’s family did not want to go forward with the complaint as they did not want to publicize it,” Govindan Namboodiri, the college Principal told in his defense to The News Minute.

“People are using this incident for political motive; there were no Dalit angle in this. Now baseless allegations have been made against me too, we have taken necessary steps in the beginning itself,” Namboodiri added.

Some college students says that the girl, now a second year BA Mohiniyattam student, was an  activist of the Students Federation of India (SFI) in her first year of college. During her second year she joined ABVP which lead to political conflicts.

SFI claims that they have neither targeted her nor pasted posters against her.

“The posters alleged a relationship between an SFI leader and this girl. Why should we tarnish our leader’s name? Coincidentally she happens to be a Dalit; only after this issue broke out we came to know that she was a Dalit. It is so cheap to twist a political issue in to a caste based issue. She was a student and an ABVP worker as far as we are concerned, not a Dalit,”  VM Junaid, SFI Ernakulam District Secretary told TNM.

“We wanted to know  who did this, we wanted an enquiry because it was an issue affecting our image. But her family was against it. We still stand for a proper enquiry by women cell, police or any commission. And if it turns out than an SFI activist was behind this, we will take action,” Junaid said.

However, ABVP firmly alleges that they have no doubts about SFI's the involvement in the issue. But ABVP leaders TNM spoke to did not allege that the girl was undergoing any caste discrimination.

“She was tortured by SFI because she was an ABVP worker and last year she had given statement in court against an SFI leader. So this was a clear propaganda against her. Principal also supported SFI and she was depressed because even her marriage was broken. Due to their pressure, she withdrew her complaint,” alleged KM Ravishanker ABVP District Organising Secretary.

The girl who tried to kill herself by eating sleeping pills is now out of danger.

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