Clash: law college to be closed till Feb. 24

Valentine’s Day celebrations in Ernakulam college turn violent; students injured

Published - February 15, 2020 12:35 am IST - Kochi

The Government Law College, Ernakulam, will remain closed till February 24 following a clash between Students Federation of India (SFI) and Kerala Students Union (KSU) activists on the campus allegedly over Valentine’s Day celebrations on Friday.

The organisations blamed each other for the melee while students from both sides were admitted to hospitals claiming to have been injured in the clash.

Both the organisations lodged petitions with the Central police.

Arjun Babu, area secretary, SFI, accused KSU activists of ‘provocations’ to sabotage the cultural programme organised by the SFI-led union on the campus for Valentine’s Day.

“The programme was under way when KSU activists turned up with an ‘eating competition’ at the same time. The event was being organised in a small space outside the Principal’s room and there was no room for simultaneous programmes. Though this led to some heated exchanges, the issue was resolved and they backed out,” he said.

However, Mr. Babu alleged, unruly Youth Congress activists from outside entered the campus and beat up SFI members following which a union councillor suffered head injury and the nature club secretary ended up with broken nose and hand. “Three of our activists were admitted to hospital,” he said.

K.M. Anas, district general secretary, KSU, said it was the SFI activists who beat up their members.

“We had organised the eating competition to remember the martyrs of Pulwama terrorist attack after the programme organised by the SFI. But then SFI created a ruckus stating that only one programme needed to be held. Five of our activists are in hospital,” he said.

However, Mr. Babu said the martyrs remembrance programme was never held as the clash had broken out by then.

Inquiry committee

College Principal T.G. Ajitha said that an internal inquiry committee had been constituted to probe the incident and that action would be taken based on its findings. “The fracas was over a non-issue reportedly in connection with the Valentine’s Day. Initially, there was a skirmish, which was resolved after faculty members, including me, promptly intervened. By the time we knew about the second incident, it was all over,” she said.

Prof. Ajitha said that though there were reports of outsiders entering the campus, she was not aware about the specifics.

The Central police said that cases would be registered against both the parties.

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