Published: 12th March 2021
Did SFI activists in Kerala's University College really kick a woman student?
A member of the Congress-affiliated Kerala Students' Union has alleged that she was physically assaulted by a member of the SFI
Clashes between activists associated with various student political organisations were once an everyday affair in University College, Thiruvananthapuram. While everything seemed peaceful for a while, now, a master's student, who is also a member of the Congress-affiliated Kerala Students' Union has alleged that she was physically assaulted by a member of the left-leaning Students' Federation of India. The SFI, on the other hand, has called the allegations baseless.
Krishnaveni Suman, a first-year MA English Literature student says that she was kicked on her lower back by an SFI activist, who is a student of the same college. However, she refused to reveal his name and identity. "The undergraduate freshmen were set to come to the college for the first time and we (the college's KSU unit) were preparing to welcome them. So, we installed a flag next to the main gate and wrote KSU on the road," she says.
She recalls how she and a few other students were standing next to the writing on the ground, waiting for the paint to dry. "We wanted to make sure that students see us and did not ride their motorcycles over what we had painted. But that was when an SFI activist entered the campus and hit my leg with his bike. I fell down and right then, he extended his leg to kick me on my lower back," says Krishnaveni. The student goes on to say that the atmosphere in the college is quite volatile politically and there is no space for dissent against the SFI and the CPM. "Even our teachers do not support us. Now, I am scared of further mental and physical torture by the SFI activists," she says.
Responding to the allegations, the SFI unit members of the campus denied all her claims. "We are unaware of this. Now that the elections are near, the Congress and the KSU are trying their best to defame the left," says Vipin Das, the SFI unit president. The KSU unit in the college was opened in 2019. Prior to that, the SFI was the only political organisation there. However, the former unit was disbanded after the SFI members clashed among themselves.