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Stop patronising SFI’s criminal activities: Opposition tells Kerala government

The recent developments in Kerala's political landscape involve allegations and counter-allegations between the ruling CPI(M) and the opposition Congress-led UDF. The UDF accused the CPI(M) of supporting violence by the SFI on campuses, prompting a heated debate in the state assembly.

Stop patronising SFI's criminal activities Opposition VD Satheesan tells Kerala government Pinarayi Vijayan anr
First Published Jul 4, 2024, 4:36 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Outraged by SFI violence on campuses across the state, opposition members have launched a full-scale attack against the government and CPM, causing an uproar in the assembly. This prompted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to defend the Left student organization and counter-allege atrocities by the Congress-backed KSU.

The UDF accused the Chief Minister and CPI(M) of giving political support to their student organization, the Students Federation of India (SFI), which they claimed was responsible for violent and criminal activities on university campuses and beyond, throughout the state.

The opposition made this allegation in a notice moved by several UDF MLAs, including M Vincent, seeking adjournment of the House proceedings to discuss the alleged beating of a Kerala Students Union (KSU) leader, the student wing of the Congress, by SFI members on the University of Kerala campus.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan rejected the opposition's motion, stating that the police have registered cases related to the alleged beating of the KSU leader on Tuesday and the conflict between two student groups outside the Sreekaryam police station on Wednesday.

In light of the Chief Minister's response, Speaker A N Shamseer denied permission for the motion to adjourn the House.

Opposing the UDF's claims, Vijayan referenced several incidents: the bomb attack on the AKG Centre, the alleged attempt to attack him on a plane, and the damage to Mahatma Gandhi's photo in Rahul Gandhi's Wayanad office after SFI activists left. He argued that these instances demonstrate how the Congress employs wrongful means to spread its propaganda against the Left party.

He also alleged atrocities by the pro-Congress student outfit and accused the grand old party's leadership of defending the KSU. The CM reiterated that the removal of KSU and Youth Congress activists from in front of the Nava Kerala Sadas bus was a "rescue operation," stating, "I had said so in the past, I will say it now and will every time in the future."

In response to the Chief Minister's remarks, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan argued that Vijayan's use of terms like "rescue operation" had allegedly emboldened the SFI to commit violent acts on campuses.

Satheesan stated that the Left party's defeat in the LS polls was a result of the "political patronage" given by the CM and his party to the SFI, whose actions, he claimed, were becoming increasingly uncontrollable.

On Wednesday, the Congress in Kerala criticised the SFI for allegedly assaulting a KSU leader and attacking Vincent.

The KSU organised a protest march to the Secretariat, accusing the police of inaction and lodging cases against MLAs Vincent and Chandy Oommen, along with KSU activists, regarding the violent incidents outside the Sreekaryam police station on the night of July 2-3.

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