Campus Suspensions in Wake of Siddharth’s Tragedy

University authorities enforce a one-week hostel suspension following Siddharth's death, citing failure to report assault and criminal conspiracy charges against defendants.

Vythiri: In the aftermath of Siddharth’s death, the Pookode University authorities suspended all hostel residents for one week. The suspension applied to students present when Siddharth was beaten but failed to report the incident, including first-year students. The current Pookode University Student Suspensions are just a face lift effort rather than an action against the culprits.

Disciplinary Measures and Investigations

Meanwhile, police charged the arrested accused with criminal conspiracy to call Siddharth back to the hostel after he had gone home. According to the anti-ragging squad’s investigation report, 31 hostel students perpetrated violence against Siddharth. Authorities had already expelled 19 students who directly assaulted him. These students are also barred from any courses for three years.

Additionally, ten students faced expulsion for one year without exam rights for crimes like summoning Siddharth and beating him at the behest of the main accused. Two others were ousted from the hostel. They lost internal exam privileges for ignoring Siddharth’s pleas to take him to the hospital. In total, 130 students resided at the hostel.

The PTA president stated police instructed to prevent students from leaving campus during the evidence collection phase. This led to restrictions on allowing female students to go. But exceptions were made for those with urgent needs. With the accused now arrested, the restrictions were lifted, and it was no problem for anyone, including girls, to come and go freely.

Tension in KSU protest

Tensions flared during a protest march by KSU activists demanding a CBI probe into Siddharth’s death. Police fired water cannons multiple times as protesters tried to overturn campus entrance barricades. The activists retaliated by hurling stones and sticks. This prompted the police to deploy tear gas and grenades. Finally, a lathi charge was initiated, injuring several KSU members.

The lack of immediate medical aid for the injured further stoked outrage until Congress leader T. Siddique MLA intervened to calm the KSU workers. During separate marches by MSF and the Youth Congress Thrissur unit, minor scuffles also broke out. They demanded the filing of a case against Dean Dr. M.K. Narayanan over Siddharth’s death.

Inaugurating the Youth Congress march, KPCC Secretary John Daniel alleged Dean Narayanan was complicit in Siddharth’s demise. As the procession from the District Congress office reached Kokala Junction, police halted their advance. When activists tried breaching barricades, they faced water cannon firing from the police. District President Harish Mohan and State Secretary Adv led the march.

Unrest and Demand for Justice

The volatile protests across Vythiri underscore the raw emotions and controversy still swirling around Siddharth’s tragic death. Despite Pookode University Student Suspensions and police actions, numerous student groups feel these measures are inadequate. They demand greater accountability, even implicating top officials like Dean Narayanan.

The visceral clashes witnessed, from water cannons and lathi charges to stone pelting, reflect the anger and lack of trust in the institutional response so far. However, the severe injuries and lack of immediate medical care during the chaos only compounded the hate rather than defusing tensions. With questions about the circumstances and potential cover-up of Siddharth’s final hours, the demand for an independent CBI probe is gaining momentum. The university and law enforcement face an uphill battle to restore calm and credibility on campus.

Allowing the protests to continue unabated risks further unravelling the order, but a heavy-handed crackdown could also backfire. Striking a reasonable balance through transparency, accountability, and justice is likely the only path to help this traumatized community begin healing. Until the murky truth around Siddharth’s demise is fully uncovered, such convulsive unrest seems poised to persist and potentially escalate absent urgent remedial action.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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