TN: Police Prevent SFI State President from Attending Graduation Convocation in Thanjavur
Policemen in civil dresses removing Aravinthasamy from the graduation ceremony at Tamil University, Thanjavur.
The Students Federation of India (SFI) Tamil Nadu unit has approached the Director General of Police (DGP) against the alleged harassment of its state unit president G Aravinthasamy. The Thanjavur police forcefully removed him from attending his graduation ceremony on April 24 at Tamil University in the district where Governor R N Ravi was the chief guest.
Aravinthasamy, who was graduating, was “intentionally barred” from receiving his degree by the police fearing protest against the Governor, the SFI has alleged. He was frisked twice within a span of 10 minutes from 9.35 a.m, and his mobile phone and graduation gown were taken away before the Governor’s arrival. Also, he was lodged in a room till the ceremony was over, it was alleged.
The SFI president’s family members, who were eager to witness the ceremony, were left embarrassed and dejected because of the actions of the police personnel, said the organisation.
As per SFI sources, the police suspected him of waving a black flag against the Governor and body-searched him, subjecting him to abuse and humiliation in front of more than 1,500 students and other participants.
The SFI attempted to lay siege to the office of the Thanjavur Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police on April 26 and some of them were detained. Students across the state boycotted classes condemning the injustice meted out to their colleagues, the organisation said.
The SFI central executive committee and Communist Party of India (Marxist) have condemned the “injustice” meted out to the student activist.
Accusing the police of acting at the behest of the Governor, the student organisation said it disapproved of body-searching a student, citing security reasons.
SFI activists were detained by the police while marching towards the Thanjavur range DIG office on April 26.
Niruban Chakravarthy, SFI state secretary, told NewsClick that “The police action against the SFI state president was uncalled for and was a clear violation of human rights. Preventing a graduate from attending the convocation merely on suspicion is deplorable,” he said.
The SFI claimed that Aravinthasamy was asked to remove his trousers by the special branch police of Thanjavur range. The police pulled back after he raised objections, a statement of the SFI said.
The students also accused police officials from the Thanjavur range office, and the Superintendent of Police of Thanjavur district, of taking him away from the auditorium in which the graduation ceremony was held. The SFI, in a complaint to the DGP, has sought action against all the officials involved in the incident.
Aravinthasamy seated along with other graduands after a round of questioning before being removed from the auditorium
“He was taken to a generator room on the campus and was inappropriately touched and groped by police officials. They even asked to remove the black inner wear for reasons known only to them. These actions amount to imposing mental torture on an individual,” Chakravarthy added.
The SFI central executive committee also condemned the police for detaining an activist in the name of protecting the Governor and termed it as “undemocratic.”
Offended by the actions of the police, the SFI called for a march towards the Thanjavur DIG office and a boycott of classes. The attempt to siege the DIG office ended with a minor scuffle as SFI activists tried to jump the barricades. Demonstrations and rallies were taken out in different parts of the state against the police.
“The police resorted to undemocratic practices in the name of ensuring the safety of the Governor. Though they found nothing objectionable with Aravinthasamy, they detained him for several hours,” Chakravarthy alleged.
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