Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam on Tuesday ordered the Vice-Chancellor, Kerala University (KU), to urgently file a report on the seizure of answer sheets from the house of a Students’ Federation of India (SFI) leader on Sunday.
The Cantonment Police had stumbled upon the answer sheets, purportedly validated by the KU, when they searched the house of Sivarenjith.
The police had named the undergraduate as the prime suspect in the near-fatal stabbing of collegemate and SFI activist Akhil during class hours at University College here last Friday.
The knife attack had prompted spontaneous protests against the SFI leadership and opened a public debate on criminalisation of college campuses in Kerala.
Investigators had also found a seal of the Director of Physical Education, KU, from Sivarenjith’s room.
In a tweet, the Kerala Raj Bhavan said that the Governor had “sought an urgent report from the Vice-Chancellor, University of Kerala, on the reported seizure of bundles of University answer sheets and seal of Director, Physical Education, from the house of an accused in the murder attempt case in University College, Thiruvananthapuram”.
The seizure of 83 answer sheet bundles from the SFI leader’s home in Attukal closely followed by the discovery of more sheaves of answer sheets from the University College union room controlled by the SFI campus unit had raised serious questions about the inviolability of examinations held at the institution.
The Governor’s move also comes against the backdrop of public statements from former college principals who claimed they had repeatedly reported widespread examination malpractices in University College by SFI leaders to the KU, but no avail.
They had alleged that politically partisan teachers, lack of a robust parent-teachers association, absence of rival student outfits and a delinquent subculture that demanded total deference from students to the SFI had rendered faculty members and invigilators helpless in the face of such brazen wrongdoings.
The police said the illegal diversion of answer sheets to politically influential SFI leaders pointed to active connivance on the part of college insiders.