KOCHI: Fringe outfits affiliated to hard-line organizations such as the Popular Front of India (PFI) have been gradually making inroads into Kerala campuses and disturbing an otherwise peaceful academic atmosphere for the last 5-10 years if the violence and murders reported from college campuses are any indications.
While the Campus Front, PFI’s student wing, is being held responsible for the murder of SFI leader Abhimanyu at Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam on Monday, it was PFI workers who hacked to death an ABVP-RSS worker Shyam Prasad, 24, near Peravur in Kannur in January. In July 2012, Vishal, an ABVP activist at Christian College, Chengannur, was killed, this time too by Campus Front activists. Besides the gruesome incidents, clashes between Campus Front and other major student outfits were reported from campuses across the state in previous years.
SFI leaders said the PFI-Campus Front leaders implemented a ‘militant’ style of functioning inside campuses. “In Maharaja’s College, the front deployed leaders who were not students, but hailed from outside the district for coordinating its activities,” they said.
A 15-member gang who came to the college on Sunday night to paint graffiti for welcoming freshers is believed to have attacked Abhimanyu. The police seized eight motorcycles used by the assailants and are also checking whether those involved in the hand chopping of a professor in Muvattupuzha are involved.
‘Trained criminals involved’
M Swaraj MLA alleged trained criminals from neighboring districts were involved in Abhimanyu’s murder. “We have learnt only one or two of the persons involved in the attack are students, while the rest are trained cadre. It is common knowledge that similar persons were involved in the attack against the police in Edathala near Aluva,” Swaraj told reporters. Academician and former MG University Vice-Chancellor Syriac Thomas said the abolition of student politics had propelled the growth of communal forces inside the campuses.
“Communal divide is worse than political divide. The concept of an apolitical campus is irrational. Communal flare-ups in campuses are disastrous,” he said.