Thrissur: The student protest over the suicide of an 18-year-old computer science student at Nehru College in Pampady near Thiruvilwamala on Monday took a violent turn with the protest march on the college by SFI and KSU ending up in rampaging its office and canteen and an ATM counter at its gate.
The protest had been brewing since Saturday with the relatives and students alleging that Jishnu Pranoy, son of Ashokan of Nadapuram in Kozhikode, hung himself inside his hostel room after invigilator Praveen, who is also a teacher at the college, allegedly threatened him of barring from exam.
He was reportedly found looking on the answer sheet of the student sitting next to him during the exam, and after that on Friday, he committed suicide.
On Monday, the KSU, MSF, ABVP, AISF and SFI held protests on the campus, with the participation of more than 300 students from the college where politics is banned.
Police first lathi charged KSU members as they broke the glass doors and window panes of the ATM near the gate of the Administrative Block. Later, more than 100 SFI activists pushed apart nearly 20 policemen who were preventing them from entering the college and went on a rampage.
SFI state secretary M. Vijin and KSU state president V. S. Joy along with other student leaders could not stop their activists. A student broke his arm during the violence, and some policemen suffered minor injuries.
A large posse of police from nearby police stations of Wadakkanchery, Kunnamkulam and Palakkad, were rushed to the college as things went out of hand after protesters forcibly entered the 33-acre campus. They were camping in the office overnight Monday.
“The college authorities have no respect for students, and both the teaching staff and the administrative officials use derogatory words against them when they raise voice against the hard-and-fast rules. The fine at the college varies from Rs 500 to 5,000. They initiate disciplinary action for silly reasons. Fearing retaliatory action from the college authorities which might adversely affect their academics and future, the students keep mum,” Sarath Chandran K., area secretary of SFI, told DC.
They take disciplinary action and impose fines for even sporting a beard, cutting cakes during birthdays and for not wearing the tag of the college.
Authorities, however, denied all the allegations of torture including that the deceased Jishnu was beaten up inside the principal's room.
“We have put in place a disciplined system for the academic growth. We are regularly achieving it. There is a concerted effort from certain quarters to defame the college, and this protest and vandalism are part of it,” said P. Krishnadas, its managing trustee.