Wayanad suicide: Parents allege police pressured to conceal truth

The parents of JS Siddharth have accused the police of being under pressure from the higher-ups to cover up the facts and let the main culprits go scot-free

| Updated: 05 March, 2024 12:05 pm IST
The parents of JS Siddharth, the 21-year-old veterinary student who allegedly committed suicide, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the police investigation.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The parents of JS Siddharth, the 21-year-old veterinary student who allegedly committed suicide after being tortured and harassed by his seniors at a college in Wayanad, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the police investigation. They have accused the police of being under pressure from the higher-ups to cover up the facts and let the main culprits go scot-free.

“The SFI leader’s response that it was a mistake is an attempt to escape. The statement of ‘bowing down’ is by knowing that the public is against them. The case should be filed for murder and not for abetment to suicide,” said Jayaprakash, father of JS Siddharth, to The New Indian.

The police, who had faced criticism for not invoking appropriate charges against the 18 accused persons arrested in the case, have now charged all of them with criminal conspiracy. The police will also question the non-teaching staff who were present at the college hostel on February 15, 16 and 17, when the 21-year-old was assaulted in public view and later made to starve in the hostel for two days.

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The investigation officer also said that the call made to Siddharth while he was going home, asking him to return to the college, a few days before his death, was part of the criminal conspiracy.

According to the investigation report of the college’s anti-ragging cell, 31 inmates of the hostel were involved in the violence against Siddharth. While 19 of them were banned from pursuing academic interests for three years, 10 were debarred for one year. The remaining two were banned from the hostel.

Meanwhile, all 130 students who were present at the hostel when Siddharth was subjected to a mob trial have been handed a one-week suspension for their failure to report the brutal attack against the student to the authorities concerned.

The academic director of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University has informed that there will be no regular classes from March 5 to 10 due to protests related to the death of Siddharth.

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The ladies’ hostel of the veterinary college will also remain closed during the period. The action was taken keeping in view the current atmosphere prevailing in the college.

The CPI(M) Wayanad leadership has termed the allegations that the party was trying to protect the accused as baseless and misleading. CPI(M) leaders rejected allegations that they visited the magistrate of Kalpetta court at his residence to lobby for the accused persons.

“Why will I visit the magistrate at his residence on Saturday, when even the probe team didn’t take the accused persons there? The accused had been produced before the magistrate at his chamber in the court. However, I was on the court premises at the time; I won’t deny that,” said Saseendran CK, CPI(M) state committee member.

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