Friday, Dec 02, 2022

Kerala Law Academy protest ends after principal is removed

Students belonging to various outfits had been protesting at the academy demanding the exit of Lakshmi, a celebrity chef and anchor of a cookery show on CPM-backed Kairali TV.

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The 29-day student protest at the Kerala Law Academy ended on Wednesday after the management agreed to remove Lakshmi Nair as the institute’s principal. In the conciliatory meeting, convened by Education Minister C Raveendranath, the management assured the students that an eligible person, meeting the specifications, would be appointed as the principal. The minister said the government would intervene if the management fails to stick to the promise made to students. “The principal is removed forever,’’ he said.

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Students belonging to various outfits had been protesting at the academy demanding the exit of Lakshmi, a celebrity chef and anchor of a cookery show on CPM-backed Kairali TV. Students had accused her of highhandedness and discrimination based on caste. Police have also registered a case against Lakshmi on charges of making a caste slur against students.

The agitation had put the CPM on defensive as Lakshmi is the niece of senior CPM leader Koliyakode Krishnan Nair. Wednesday’s decision is a setback for CPM and its student outfit SFI, which had called off the protest last week after obtaining an assurance from the academy management that Lakshmi would be kept away from the post for next five years.

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Student organisations, except SFI, continued their agitation demanding that Lakshmi should be kept away from the institute forever. They were also not ready to accept vice principal Madhavan Potty as the principal as he did not have the prescribed qualifications. In the last few days, they had intensified the agitation with an ABVP member on Tuesday threatening to commit suicide.

Although the stir was called off, the alleged land scam at the academy is far from over. The academy was established on 11 acre of government land assigned to the trust for educational purposes only. The state revenue department has found that the academy trust, now managed by Lakshmi’s family, had used the land for non-educational purpose.

Local Congress legislator K Muraleedharan, who has been on a hunger strike demanding Lakshmi’s resignation, said the government should take back the land from Lakshmi’s family. On Wednesday, he said that only the student agitation was over.

“If the government fails to address the land scam, it would be taken to the court,” he added.

First published on: 09-02-2017 at 03:25:01 am
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