There was a tussle between SFI workers and those of the Campus Front, the student wing of the Popular Front, over sticking of posters inside the Maharaja’s college in Kochi. The argument later escalated into a full-throttled fight during which Abhimanyu got stabbed to death.
Abhimanyu, the 20-year-old BSc Chemistry student, was killed when SFI students and Campus Front of India (Student Wing of PFI) workers allegedly clashed inside the campus on the same day. A native of Marayoor in Idukki, Abhimanyu was allegedly stabbed on late Sunday night.
According to reports, the incident was triggered by an argument over sticking posters within the campus by the two groups. Abhimanyu was painting the walls of the campus to welcome the new batch of students whose classes were to begin on Monday. However, college staff has said that following this incident, the dates will be postponed. An official announcement will be made soon. Abhimanyu was rushed to the nearby Ernakulam General Hospital but succumbed to his injuries.
Another student of the college, 19-year-old Arjun who studies BSc Philosophy, also sustained severe injuries. He has been admitted to the Ernakukulam Medical Trust Hospital in the city and had to undergo an emergency surgery.
Police have arrested Kottayam native Bilal and Farooq and Fort Kochi native Riyaz over the incident. Investigations are ongoing.
Circle Inspector Anand Lal said three people have been taken into custody and are being questioned. Meanwhile, the postmortem report of Abhimanyu is awaited.
Trained criminals from neighbouring districts were involved in the gruesome murder of Abhimanyu at Maharajas College in Ernakulam, M Swaraj, a Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA said.
“We have learnt that only one or two involved in the attack are students. The rest are trained henchmen. You might be aware that such people were involved in an attack against police during the Holy Month of Ramadan in Aluva,” Swaraj added.
A police team was beaten up by a localite in Aluva and when he was taken into custody a group of people made a ruckus at the police station too.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said in the assembly that the group of which some were former members of NDF had terrorist links.
The incident has sent shockwaves in Kerala as the student of Maharaja’s college in Kochi, who is also a member of the Students Federation of India (SFI) which is the student wing of the ruling CPI(M), was stabbed to death inside the hostel premises on 1 June.
CPI(M) state secretariat member and former Rajya Sabha MP P. Rajeev condemned the attack on the SFI workers and described it as a “planned” one carried out by forces with “extremist nature.”
“We have not heard about such a heinous attack on student activists in recent times. All the progressive forces should come forward to fight against such outfits with extremist nature,” said Rajeev, a former state leader of the SFI from Ernakulam district.
The SFI has called for a state-wide strike on Monday but has excluded those who were writing examinations.
“In a prominent college like Maharajas situated at the centre of the city, parties like Campus Front are making unholy alliances and using violence to destroy us,” said Jaik C Thomas, former state president of the SFI.
The Maharajas College is seen as a citadel of the SFI having elected the Left body numerous times in the past.