Sidharthan’s death: University seeks explanation from dean

According to the three-member commission’s report, the college dean neither visited the hostel nor supervised the affairs of the students.
 J S Sidharthan
J S SidharthanPhoto | Express

KALPETTA: Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Vice-Chancellor K S Anil has issued a charge memo to Dean M K Narayanan and Assistant Warden R Kanthanathan, who was in charge of the veterinary college hostel in Pookode, for showing negligence in the lead-up to the death of second-year undergraduate student J S Sidharthan on the campus in February.

The memo warns that failure to provide a satisfactory response within 15 days will result in action including dismissal from service. Recently, the university inquiry commission had found out that there was failure on the side of the college authorities in the death of Sidharthan.

After his death, the university had suspended both the college dean and the assistant warden in charge of the men’s hostel for negligence.

P C Saseendran, who was appointed the university vice-chancellor after the incident and later resigned, constituted a three-member inquiry commission to examine whether further action should be taken in the matter and asked the committee members to submit a report within three months.

Sidharthan was found hanging in the bathroom of the men’s hostel at the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences College, Pookode, on February 18. It is alleged that Sidharthan died because of mental and physical torture resulting from days-long ragging on the campus.

According to the three-member commission’s report, the college dean neither visited the hostel nor supervised the affairs of the students.

Meanwhile, the death of Sidharthan was discussed in the SFI Wayanad district committee conference at Sultan Bathery on Saturday.

The SFI conference reportedly raised criticism that Sidharthan’s death proved a setback in the union elections. The public image created by the media about SFI could not be resisted and the organisation lacked caution in handling the matter, it was pointed out.

Several delegates also mentioned that SFI members have not been able to disclose the facts related to Sidharthan’s death to the public. This resulted in a setback for SFI in various college union elections. SFI lost even in the Calicut University union elections.

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