A wave of protest erupted at Amal Jyothi Engineering College in Kanjirappally, Kerala, following the death of a 20-year-old student. The student, Sradha Satheesh, a fourth-semester student of food technology, was found dead in her room at the college hostel on June 2. In response to the protests, the agitators have decided to withdraw their protest after receiving assurance from Kerala’s Higher Education Minister, R Bindhu. Minister Bindhu has pledged to initiate a crime branch investigation into the student’s death. The college is expected to reopen on Monday after being closed in response to the protests. The students had initially refused to vacate the campus and intensified their protest when the police prevented them from entering.
Allegations of Harassment and Demands for Action
The protesting students, including Sradha’s hostel mates, have alleged that the Head of the Food Technology department and the hostel warden were harassing the deceased student. They claim that the student took her own life after her phone was confiscated by the teachers while she was using it in the lab. The students also accuse the hostel warden of attempting to obstruct the attending doctors at the hospital by covering up the suicide. In response to these allegations, the students have demanded action against the Head of the Food Technology department and the hostel warden.
Minister’s Response and Ongoing Investigations
Kerala’s Higher Education Minister, R Bindhu, has assured the students that their rights will be respected and they need not fear being targeted during the ongoing investigations. Minister Bindhu has emphasized that the police are currently conducting a probe, along with a separate investigation by her department. She has expressed her commitment to addressing the concerns of the students and has decided to hold talks with the students and college management. To facilitate these discussions, Minister Bindhu, along with State Cooperation Minister VN Vasavan, visited the college on Wednesday.
It is worth noting that a police investigation is already underway, and Minister Bindhu’s department has initiated its own inquiry into the matter.
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