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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 15, April 13, 2024

Murder in the campus | Sukumaran C.V.

Friday 12 April 2024, by Sukumaran C.V.


A resident student of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University was found dead in the hostel (dormitory) room on Feb.18, 2024. Those who "found" him dead (including the Dean and the hostel warden) say he was found hanging in the bathroom and they tried to "save" him by rushing to hospital. But the post-mortem report says that the "ligature material was neither present in situ nor brought by the police." And the report concludes by stating that "he had sustained multiple blunt injuries including tramline contusion of age 2-3 days on the body suggestive of assault."

In cases of suicide by hanging, the ligature material—the rope or other material used to hang—is the important thing to ward off suspicion of murder. The absence of ligature material and the torture marks in the Veterinary University student’s body point to cold-blooded torture and murder. The accused are his fellow students and hostel mates. The alleged reason is that he "misbehaved" with a girl student on Valentine’s Day! He was stripped naked and subjected to belt lashes publicly in the courtyard of the hostel; and more than 100 resident students, his hostel-mates, watched the torture without protesting as if they were spectators in the Roman Amphitheatres! And the alleged perpetrators of the torture are the office bearers of the Students’ Union and SFI, the students’ wing of the CPI(M) which leads the ruling coalition of the state.

SFI and the CPI(M) which cry in full-throat against such incidents whenever such things occur in U.P. or Bihar or Delhi have been keeping dead silence in this atrocity perpetrated under the leadership of the SFI unit President and Secretary, who, along with 16 others are in remand now.

Keralites always think that they are the most progressive, most educated and most democratic society in India and think moral policing and mob lynching are the things that happen only in other parts of India which are not as "cultured or civilized" as Kerala is! But nowhere in India, we have seen the residents of a University hostel thrashing a fellow student with belts and wires for three days and pushing him to death. It is something that resembles Hitler’s concentration camps.

If this cruelty had happened anywhere else in India, the streets of Kerala would have by now witnessed eruptions of protest by the Left parties and the "cultural workers" affiliated to them; social media would have been on flame. But now the plethora of "progressive" social media profiles keep damn silence on the heinous murder perpetrated under their very nose.

What frightens me in this beating to death is the fact that those who had perpetrated the crime are not history-sheeters, but undergraduate students who were studying to be vets! Does education make the students callous criminals or does their political affiliation make them ruffians?

In a speech delivered at the Special Convocation of Allahabad University on December 13, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru said: “A university stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for progress, for the adventures of ideas and for the search for truth. It stands for the onward march of the human race towards even higher objectives.”

I am ashamed of the lack of humanism in the Kerala Veterinary University students who have perpetrated and witnessed the torture of a fellow student for three days pushing him to slow death. Kerala forfeits the right to look down on other states on account of human rights violations as worse human rights violations are perpetrated right here. It seems that the self-proclaimed progressive people of Kerala who are extra brilliant to see the rot elsewhere are equally brilliant not to see the rot within.

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