Thiruvanthapuram: The LDF government in Kerala on Saturday handed over the case related to the death of Siddharthan, 20, a second-year student of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Siddharthan was found hanging in the toilet of a men’s hostel in the Wayanad campus on February 18, causing widespread outrage in the state.

The government announced the decision to hand over the probe to the CBI soon after Siddharthan’s father Jayaprakash met Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at his office along with his relatives and demanded justice. The family of the victim had earlier levelled serious allegations against the investigation officers accusing them of going slow on the arrest of leaders of the CPM-led student organisation SFI who are involved in the case.

Many of the accused in the case are prominent workers of the SFI. With the issue snowballing into a major controversy, the opposition Congress-led UDF also launched an indefinite fast in front of the secretariat seeking justice for Siddharthan and also organised protests across the state.

Considering the family’s serious apprehensions regarding the fairness of the current probe and the adverse impact the issue could have on the coming crucial Lok Sabha polls, the ruling front decided to hand over the investigations to the central agency.

Notwithstanding the CBI inquiry ordered by his government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan defended the Kerala police investigation terming it “impeccable and fair” which led to the arrest of all the accused in the case. He said Siddharth’s mother had submitted a memorandum seeking a CBI inquiry into her son’s death. Considering the sentiments of the family, the government decided to hand over the probe to the CBI, the chief minister said.

“We are satisfied by the government’s decision to hand over the case to the CBI. The pain of losing our son will remain forever. There are still accused who have not been included in the anti-ragging squad report. All these people should be prosecuted. Attempts have been made to sabotage the probe and destroy the evidence,” Siddharthan’s father Jayaprakash alleged.

He said many of the things that the police and the dean stated lacked credibility. “It is difficult to believe that Siddharthan who was not given food or water for three days and brutally tortured could hang himself,” he said.

Siddharth’s father thanked representatives of various political parties, the media and many people across Kerala irrespective of caste and creed, who stood by their family in their fight for justice.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan had earlier suspended M R Saseendranath vice chancellor of the university and requested the Kerala High Court for a judicial inquiry into the horrific incident.

The dean M K Narayanan and assistant warden Dr R Kanthanadhan were also placed under suspension for dereliction of duty.

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