Published: 18th May 2023
Kerala University freezes student elections after impersonation issue at a college
After the issue turned controversial, the college principal sent an email to the KU registrar on May 13 urging him to remove Visakh's name from the list
Kerala University (KU) has put on hold its upcoming union election following allegations of impersonation in the list of University Union Councillors (UUCs) elected from Christian College, Kattakkada. The matter came to light after a student of the college approached the Kerala University with a complaint that college Principal GJ Shyju had included the name of a Students' Federation of India (SFI) leader, Visakh A, who didn't contest the college election, as one of the two elected UUCs.
However, in the college union election held in December last year, SFI members — Aromal and Anakha — had emerged victorious as UUCs. It was alleged that the name of Visakh, Area Secretary of SFI, was clandestinely included following pressure from the student outfit, as stated in a report by The New Indian Express.
Further, when the issue turned controversial, the college principal sent an email to the KU registrar on May 13 urging him to remove Visakh's name from the list. The varsity summoned the principal for a hearing on Wednesday, May 17. As per sources, the principal produced before the university a letter, purportedly from Anakha, that she was stepping down from the UUC post.
"Even if a student elected to a post steps down, the principal has no right to include the name of another student in the list forwarded to the university," said a senior KU official. The varsity could recommend to the college management to take disciplinary action against the principal.
"Since the voters' lists to the students' council and student representatives to the Senate have been affected by the impersonation row, it has been decided to freeze the elections for the time being," the official added.
Moreover, in a bid to distance itself from the row, the SFI state committee removed Visakh from all posts. Sharing more on this, SFI State Secretary PM Arsho said, "Action has been taken as Visakh did not inform the leadership after being aware that his name was included in the list of UUCs being forwarded to the university." Further, he said that the SFI leadership was not aware that Anakha had stepped down from the post.
Meanwhile, the CPM has ordered an internal inquiry headed by the Kovalam area secretary into the allegations. It is learnt that the party has recorded Anakah's version. Leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan termed the incident as 'strange' and 'unprecedented' and added that SFI leadership was in the grip of criminals. Meanwhile, a march taken out by KSU to the KU headquarters to protest the 'impersonation' episode turned violent.