An image of a student, injured and lying on what looked like a hospital bed, surfaced on social media on the afternoon of November 23. The image was of Mohammed Adil from Puttur in Karnataka, who was allegedly beaten up by students belonging to a right-wing group — for speaking to his female classmate, allegedly a Hindu girl. While several reports have claimed that the ABVP is behind this, the national student outfit has denied all involvement.
As per media reports, this is the third such incident at the Government Pre-University College in Kombettu. Edexlive has learnt that the situation has escalated. While the Puttur Town Police Station officials haven’t yet released all the details, they confirmed to Edexlive that at least two more students from the same college have been attacked on November 24. They have been rushed to a hospital in Mangaluru for further treatment. “Things are not very clear but there is an ongoing issue in the college,” an official said. The official added that there would be a statement released on the issue soon.
Adil’s family has been living in fear ever since the attack. His uncle, Mohammad Rafiq, said, “Muslim students are targetted here, it happened yesterday and it happened today again. There was a large mob that attacked students in our community today (Nov 24) with a trishul (trident). We are scared, how will our children go to college?”
The second attack took place after students were suspended for assaulting Adil. It began with a protest by predominantly Hindu students and ended in a fight with a group of Muslim students who were right outside the college at the time. A member of the Campus Front of India (CFI), a Muslim student-led organisaton that has been tracking incidents of such violence closely — including the one in Puttur — Mohammed Thajjudim, confirmed that the most recent attack did involve the use of a trishul and that the second-year student is currently hospitalised.
According to a report by Mangaluru-based Prasthutha News, such cases of violence against Muslim students erupted after a programme on ‘Youth for Hindutva’ was held at the college by a local politician. Turning to the alleged reason behind the attack, the CFI member added, “The incidence of beating up Muslim students just because they speak to Hindu students has increased. Now, we see such cases almost twice a week. Yesterday, a student (Adil) belonging to the Muslim community asked for notes from a Hindu girl in the presence of his classmates. Somebody might have informed ABVP members about this. They came and beat him, which left him injured.”
When contacted, the National Secretary of ABVP, Harsha Narayan, denied the involvement of the students’ outfit in the matter. Narayan said, “We are not involved in this issue. Secondly, as per the locals there, this was a fight outside the campus.” Narayan added, “Campuses should not be turned into violent places and there should be a friendly environment in it. I don’t want to colour it as a Hindi-Muslim fight as students are all the same. Let the investigation happen.”
There were attempts made to reach out to the college authorities, however, they were unreachable.
With inputs from Rashmi Patil