Controversy Surrounds Investigation into Death of Kerala Veterinary University Student

Wayanad, Kerala: Police in Wayanad, Kerala are facing criticism for not pursuing murder and conspiracy charges against 18 activists from the Student Federation of India (SFI) who are accused in the death of J S Sidharthan, a student at Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. The investigation team, as reported by Manorama News, has opted for lesser charges against the college students, prompting the deceased student’s father to claim that the police have only filed weak charges against the suspects.

Currently, the accused are facing charges of abetment of suicide, wrongful restraint, and voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means under the Indian Penal Code and the Kerala Prohibition of Ragging Act. Among these accusations, Sidharthan’s family has released a voice clip of his friend who alleges that a group of SFI activists, including a female friend, were involved in the fatal beating of Sidharthan.

The voice clip revealed, “Many people at the campus brutally assaulted him using cables and belts. His classmates and outside individuals were also involved. He was beaten to death. Those who portrayed themselves as gentlemen in public were like vultures,” according to a statement made to the family by Sidharthan’s friend.

As the police custody of the initial six arrested accused is set to expire on Monday, the investigating team will present them in court for further legal proceedings. It is expected that officials will request an extension of their custody for continued investigation into the case.

Amidst allegations of police investigative shortcomings, the Congress party has called for a CBI investigation into the incident. Opposition leader VD Satheesan penned a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan highlighting the emerging details of the assault that led to Sidharthan’s death on February 18. Satheesan expressed concerns over the actions of SFI leaders and teachers implicated in the incident, demanding a thorough investigation by the CBI to uncover the truth behind the events that unfolded at the university.

Sidharthan, a second-year student pursuing a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, was tragically discovered hanging in his hostel’s bathroom, sparking outrage and calls for justice from his family and political figures alike.