Editorial: Student’s Death – CPM In A Fix

Editorial: Student’s Death – CPM In A Fix

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, March 04, 2024, 09:33 PM IST
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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan | PTI

The suspected death by suicide of Siddharthan, a 21-year-old veterinary student in Wayanad district, has put the ruling CPI-M in Kerala in a fix because of the alleged involvement of its student wing activists in the cruel torture of the youth for two days before his death, which was revealed in the post mortem report. The case has taken a political turn with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who has a running battle with the ruling Left leadership in the state, ordering the suspension of the vice-chancellor of the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. The CPI-M leadership, which had swung into election mode by declaring candidates for 15 Lok Sabha seats in the state well ahead of its rival Congress, now faces public condemnation even as details of the inhuman torture of the student come to light.

Evidence of the SFI’s role in the case comes close on the heels of the High Court verdict in the sensational murder of CPI-M rebel TP Chandrashekharan twelve years ago in which the involvement of the CPM leadership was proved beyond doubt. The verdict of life sentence to 12 accused in the murder, two of them senior CPI-M leaders, reopened old wounds with an outpouring of public sympathy for KK Rama, widow of the slain Chandrashekharan and a sitting MLA, which will adversely affect CPI-M prospects in north Kerala. In a desperate attempt at damage control, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has promised a thorough probe into the SFI activists’ involvement in the suicide of Siddharthan. Rahul Gandhi, the MP from Wayanad in the outgoing Lok Sabha, has not commented on the issue but the Congress has taken up the case with gusto in the hope of cornering the Left leadership. As politicians play their cynical games, the unspeakable tragedy of a family losing a 21-year-old son has been forgotten.

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