Kerala Guv suspends VC of Kerala Veterinary University over student death

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, as Chancellor of Universities in the state, on Saturday suspended the Vice Chancellor of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Wayanad in connection with the recent death of a student studying there.

Khan, in the order of suspension, said that the report given by the VC -- Prof (Dr) M R Saseendranath -- was "a testimony to the gross dereliction of duty on the part of the Vice Chancellor" during the developments that led to the death of 20-year-old Siddharthan on February 18.

"The indifferent, negligent and callous attitude of the VC towards his duties and responsibilities, especially in the background of this unfortunate incident is revealed from his report dated February 28," the Governor said and ordered a judicial probe into the student's death.

The Governor suggested a probe by a sitting or retired judge of the High Court or Supreme Court and said, "The Registrar General, High Court of Kerala will be requested in due course."

Siddharthan, who was a second year Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry student, was found hanging in the bathroom of his hostel on February 18.

His parents have claimed that some of his college mates told them that he was beaten to death by some local SFI leaders and activists.

The father contended that according to the postmortem report, his son's body had three days' worth of injuries and an empty stomach, which indicated that he was brutally beaten up and not given any food.

The police, which had initially registered a case of unnatural death, had later booked 12 students for various offences, including abetment of suicide, wrongful restraint and voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, under the IPC and the Kerala Prohibition of Ragging Act.

Later, the number of accused increased to 18.

Till Friday evening, 11 people had been arrested in the case.

Following the parents' claims, the Congress and the BJP accused the ruling CPI(M)'s student wing SFI of beating the student to death.

The Students Federation of India (SFI) has denied the allegations.

( Source : PTI )
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