A day after the Students Federation of India (SFI) sacked JS Sharat, the district vice-president of the student organization in Thiruvanathapuram for slapping former Indian diplomat TP Sreenivasan at the sidelines of an event on Friday, the diplomat took to Facebook to clear the air.
Claiming that he was extremely "polite and friendly," he wrote:
I am distressed to see that a disinformation campaign is being mounted to suggest that I used abusive words against the students to provoke them. Anyone, who has seen the video clips, will know that I was extremely polite and friendly to them even after I was attacked. I had no policemen to shout at anywhere near me. Moreover, the words I am supposed to have uttered are not in my vocabulary. The allegation is totally baseless and arises from the frustration over universal condemnation of the attack.
The post by Sreenivasan comes after a journalist claimed on Facebook that the diplomat, after coming out to the road, allegedly told the police "Why don't you clear out these bastards and make way?"
The journalist quoted an intelligence report and was not present at the scene.
SFI cadres had manhandled TP Sreenivasan who is also the vice-chairman of the Kerala State Higher Education Council, when they were protesting against a global education fair, calling it an attempt to privatise education in the state.
In a video published by Asianet News on Friday, an SFI activist is clearly seen slapping Sreenivasan as he falls to the ground.
CPI(M) leaders including VS Achutanandan, Polit Bureau member Pinarayi Vijayan and State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan have condemned the attack. VS Achutanandan has even said that a police case should be filed against SFI cadres.
However, many CPI(M) members and supporters are seen using the Facebook post by the journalist to further their claim that Sreenivasan was attacked as he was rude to the SFI members and provoked them.