Salesian college in Kerala attacked
By Matters India Reporter
Sultan Bathery: A Salesian college in Kerala suffered huge losses after miscreants attacked it for taking disciplinary action against a student.
The authorities of the Don Bosco College, Sultan Bathery in Wayanad district, have blamed the activists of the Student Federation of India (SFI) and the Democratic Youth Front of India (DYFI) for the July 11 attack.
Both groups are affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) that heads the Left Democratic Front that now rules the southern Indian state.
The college comes under the Salesians’ Bangalore province that covers Karnataka and Kerala.
Its provincial Father Mathew Thonikuzhy says the property worth 2 million rupees was destroyed in the attack. The miscreants broke office furniture, CCTV cameras, window glasses, notice boards and other items.
“They even charged into the principal’s office and went berserk,” he said in a note sent to Salesians around the globe.
The provincial also alleged that the police present there remained mute spectators during the attack.
According to him, the provocation for the attack came after the college decided to suspend the second year degree student, who is SFI’s district level official. He had put up banners with words, “Welcome by SFI Don Bosco Unit” a few days ago when the college organized a program to welcome new comers. He also distributed membership cards inviting students to join the SFI’s Don Bosco unit.
Father Thonikuzhiyil says the college does not permit campus politics and explains this to students and parents at the time of admission. “We have consistently taken the stand that party politics will not be permitted as it will eventually lead to strikes and violence marring the academic atmosphere in the college,” he explained.
The college’s disciplinary committee summoned the students for questioning. The provincial says the student was admonished several times in the past for indiscipline. Even his parents were called by the Parent Teacher Association, but his father apparently supported the son’s political activism.
The student wing contacted the local DYFI unit and threatened the college management to withdraw the student’s suspension. “The college insisted that the issue should be resolved not through intervention of local leaders, but by discussing with the parent of the student,” the provincial explains.
Fearing trouble, the college suspended classes on July 11 and requested police protection.
However, at around 11 am “a large group of anti-social elements, mostly DYFI and SFI members trespassed the closed gate and went on a rampage in the campus,” the provincial explains.
The college has filed a complaint with the police department. It also sought help from politicians, Church leaders and media persons to press the authorities to act “justly on the issue and to see to it that this kind of hooliganism is not repeated,” the Salesian priest added.