Attack on Sooraj: HC orders protection for IIT-M students

Justice R. Mahadevan of the Madras High Court has orally directed the police to provide appropriate security and protection to students of Indian Institute of Technology–Madras, who recently participated in a beef-eating protest on the campus.

The judge also directed the Additional Public Prosecutor to get instructions on a plea moved by Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, a student organisation in the institute, seeking transfer of investigation into the attack on research scholar Sooraj for participating in a protest on May 30 against the restrictions brought in by the Central government on the sale of cattle for slaughtering.

The organisation wanted the court to transfer the investigation to any officer other than Mylapore DC of Police Balakrishnan, who is handling the case.

It wanted the case to be probed by someone not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police.

According to the petitioner, another student of IIT-M, Manish Kumar Singh, attacked Sooraj and his friend Anoop on May 30 in the institute’s canteen for allegedly participating in the beef-eating protest. As the victims suffered severe injuries and were bleeding they were rushed to the institute hospital from where they were referred to a private hospital.

Parallel case

“Since it was a medico-legal case, an FIR was registered under Sections 147, 341, 325 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code by the Kotturpuram police. In the meantime, we learned that a parallel case was registered against Sooraj based on a false complaint given by Manish Kumar saying that the incident was a scuffle between two students,” the petitioners said.

Premeditated attack

Claiming that the incident was not a scuffle but a premediated attack by Manish Kumar, who was a “habitual offender and has a history of bullying fellow students,” the petitioner said the IIT-M administration had preferred to portray this horrific assault as an insignificant scuffle between students.

Alleging that the police were following the same approach as the institution did ie., without initiating a proper investigation and even trying to protect Manish Kumar , the petitioner wanted the court to pass interim order staying all the criminal proceeding in connection with the incident against Sooraj and transfer the investigation.

Justice Mahadevan posted the plea to June 12 for further hearing.

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