CHENNAI: It all began after a group of eight IIT-M students, including Manish Kumar Singh, approached PhD scholar R Sooraj at the mess, according to eyewitnesses. The conversation was initially normal.
“But when Sooraj said he had participated in Sunday’s beef fest on the campus, the group of eight pinned him to his seat and held his hands to make him immobile,” said Manoj Parameswaran, a research scholar from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. “Manish then began hitting him on his head and on his eye. His right eye was severely injured.”
Around 80 students had participated in Sunday’s ‘beef fest’ organised by IIT-M students to condemn the Centre’s ban on sale of cattle in markets for slaughter. Students rubbished claims that the attack was due to personal animosity rather than being politically motivated. “This was a purely political move,” said Parameswaran. “Sooraj did not know this student so it was definitely not for personal reasons. The one who assaulted is also a very active member of the right-wing student organisation in the campus,” he maintained. Director of IIT-M, Bhaskar Ramamurthy, denied knowledge of the incident. “We have not heard of such an incident,” Ramamurthy said. “We will look into the matter,” he added. Manish’s mates claimed he suffered a fracture in his left hand. It was not clear though as to how he suffered injuries. He could not be contacted immediately for his version of the events.
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said he would request his Tamil Nadu counterpart to take action against those who attacked Sooraj. Through his official Facebook post he condemned the attack. “It is unfortunate that a young man’s eye has been thrashed for merely eating beef.… Will request the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to take necessary action in this incident,” the post read.
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