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IIT-Madras student beaten up for leading beef fest

Last updated on: May 31, 2017 16:31 IST

An inquiry has been ordered after R Sooraj, associated with the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, was assaulted by some students who claimed to be Sangh Parivar supporters.

The beef controversy took an ugly turn, with a PhD scholar of IIT Madras being beaten up allegedly by some students protesting against the “beef fest” held in the campus on Sunday.

The IIT authorities said an inquiry will be conducted by the institute and appropriate action will be taken based on its outcome.

R Sooraj, who is associated with the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, was allegedly assaulted by some students who claimed to be Sangh Parivar supporters, according to the victim’s associates.

A student alleged that a group of students who owe allegiance to the “right wing ideology” surrounded Sooraj when he was having lunch in the mess and beat him up on Tuesday afternoon.

He was taken to the IIT-M dispensary and later to an eye hospital for his eye injury.

A picture, purportedly that of Sooraj being wheeled into a hospital with a visible injury on his right eye, is doing the rounds in the social media as well.

The student also alleged that on the night of May 28 and the next day, two students -- one after the other -- who had taken part in the beef fest, were threatened by right wing elements and a complaint was made to the authorities.

A senior police official said a formal complaint was yet to be received but an inquiry was being held into the matter.

“We will register a case on receipt of a complaint,” the official said.

A spokesperson for IIT Madras said, “There was an altercation between two students and both of them sustained injuries. Immediately appropriate medical attention was given.”

The spokesperson added, “An inquiry will be held by the institute and appropriate action will be taken based on its outcome.”

On Sunday, some students held a “beef fest” in the campus to protest the Centre’s ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.

Meanwhile, pro-Left student bodies staged a protest outside IIT Madras, condemning the attack.

Expressing solidarity with Sooraj, the slogan-raising activists of the Left leaning bodies demanded action against the assailants.

Police said the activists were detained.

In a related development, some IIT-M students took out a procession, urging the institute management to take action against those involved in the attack on the scholar.

A pro-Tamil fringe outfit also staged a protest outside the IIT campus over the assault.

Kerala CM condemns attack on IIT-M student

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condemned the attack on an IIT-Madras PhD scholar, saying it was unfortunate.

“Our Constitution has given us the freedom to consume the food of our choice and any act of intolerance is a violation of the basic rights enshrined in the Constitution,” the chief minister said in a statement.

Vijayan said he would ask the Tamil Nadu chief minister to take necessary action against those responsible for the attack on R Sooraj.

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