Activists of Islamist students’ organization Campus Front of India brutally murdered an ABVP leader at Christian College at Chengannur in Kerala’s Alappuzha district. Two other ABVP workers were injured in the Islamists’ attack.
ABVP leader Vishal (19), who was hacked by a bike-mounted gang of Islamists in front of Christian College on Monday morning, succumbed to the injuries at about 3.00 am Tuesday. In protest, the ABVP struck studies across the State on Tuesday and the BJP observed a hartal in Alappuzha district.
Doctors said Vishal, a final year BSc (Zoology) student at the NSS College, Konni in Pathanamthitta district and a resident of Mulakkuzha, Chengannur, was brought to the Medical College Hospital, Kottayam with damaged vertebrae and injured duodenum and pancreas and with very low blood pressure. Funeral will take place on Wednesday.
Campus Front is the students’ wing of Islamist organization Popular Front of India (PFI, formerly NDF), whose activists had in a Taliban-model attack on July 4, 2010 chopped off the right hand of TJ Joseph, a college professor from Ernakulam district, for preparing a question paper that allegedly blasphemed Prophet Muhammad.
The police have taken into custody three persons and a vehicle used by the murderers while they have registered cases against 14 persons for the violence in Chengannur. According to police sources, some receipts of the Campus Front were found from the spot of violence in front of Christian College but the outfit had no unit in the institution.
The incident took place amidst a programme for welcoming new students to the college. It is said that the ABVP had organized Saraswati Pooja in front of the college while others were engaged in distributing sweets to the newcomers when the Campus Front activists rushed in and hacked ABVP’s Vishal, Vishnu Prasad and Sreejith.
Students of the college said that there was tension two days ago over the Campus Front’s attempt to open a unit in the college. This was followed by disputes over posters stuck on the college walls, they said. “However, we did not expect this to happen in our college. It was a lightning attack and obviously, the ABVP had got no time to react,” said a student.
Vishnu and Sreejith, undergoing treatment for the injuries they suffered in the attack, said that they were attacked by a 20-member gang that reached the spot on motorbikes. The assailants had fled before the local residents rushed to the spot hearing the students’ calls for help, eyewitnesses said.
Terming the Chengannur incident as a terror strike, senior BJP leader PS Sreedharan Pillai said that trained Popular Front activists had attacked the students without provocation. It was wrong to describe this as student clash, he said, adding that the Campus Front was trying to import terror into campuses. Pillai called for a probe into the incident by a Central agency like the NIA.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s hartal in Alappuzha district called by the BJP was total. The Muslim Aikya Vedi called for a hartal on Wednesday in certain areas of the district to protest against the violent incidents that occurred during Tuesday’s shutdown. Also, the ABVP called for a State-wide education bandh on Wednesday.