Kerala University Suspends Youth Festival Amidst Violence Complaints; Further Action To Be Taken

Kerala University Suspends Youth Festival Amidst Violence Complaints; Further Action To Be Taken

There are a slew of complaints, there is violence, and students are fighting each other.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 02:29 PM IST
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Kerala University | IANS Image

The Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University on Monday suspended the ongoing annual Youth Festival as numerous complaints have been received about incidents of violence among students. University Vice-Chancellor Dr Mohanan Kunnummal issued a directive to cease the announcement of the results and the concluding ceremony of The Kerala University Union Youth Festival 2024 . The university said further action will be taken later. “We have reports of violence among the students. Youth festivals should be celebrated as festivals of happiness and love. But now it has become a festival of violence. There are a slew of complaints, there is violence, and students are fighting each other. Further action will be taken later,” Kunnummal told PTI.

The VC said the university will hear all the complaints and take a decision on the next course of action. Meanwhile, a major protest broke out at Kerala University’s senate hall, the main venue of the festival, with participants citing various issues, including delays in considering appeals and conducting competitions on time. The protesting students complained that appeals against the decisions of the judges in various competitions have been pending since day one. After it was announced that the event stands cancelled, students of various colleges participating in the group dance competition performed on the main stage, in protest.

A trainer from one of the protesting colleges told the media that the event scheduled to be held on Sunday evening had been delayed until now. The Youth Festival had been marred by controversies from the beginning when the vice-chancellor barred the students’ union from using the name ‘Intifada’ for this year’s event, citing its association with the Palestinian uprisings against Israel. Kunnummal had said that the festival platform cannot be used to propagate any type of ideology.

The festival began on March 7 and was scheduled to conclude on Monday, March 11. During the festival, a case was also registered against a judge and two trainers of ‘Margamkali’ competition for allegedly indulging in bribery to manipulate the results. Shaji, a judge of the competition, allegedly received a bribe from trainers Jomet and Sooraj, over which the police registered a case and arrested all three persons on Saturday.

On Sunday, the students’ wing of the Congress party, KSU, held a protest march to the main venue of the festival, alleging that rival SFI activists had assaulted them. Cases were also filed against both student outfits, for assault and disruption, according to sources.

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