Former diplomat T P Sreenivasan attacked by SFI activists

Former diplomat T P Sreenivasan attacked by SFI activists

Former diplomat T P Sreenivasan attacked by SFI activists

T P Sreenivasan, former diplomat and Vice Chairman and Executive Head of Kerala State Higher Education Council, was today attacked allegedly by SFI activists who were protesting against the "commercialising of higher education" near here.

The incident occurred near the venue of the Global Education meet at the Leela Convention centre at Kovalam.

The Students' Federation of India activists had gathered in front of the conference venue protesting against the meet, alleging that it was meant for further commercialising higher education sector and allowing entry of foreign universities.
A tense situation prevailed in the area since this morning.

Sreenivasan, former Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Vienna, and Ambassador to Austria and Slovenia, had reportedly come out to greet some delegates when the attack took place.

Video footage showed him being pushed around allegedly by protesting students and one of them slapped him on the face. He fell down on the road and was seen being helped by a person.

There was a heavy posse of police personnel at the scene. The students were later arrested and removed, police said.

CPI(M) district secretary Kadakampally Surendran alleged that the government was using police against students.

When pointed out that an SFI activist had hit Sreenivasan, Surendran apologised on behalf of the students. "I apologise on behalf of the students. This should not have happened," he told reporters. He also said that as a tense situation was prevailing there, Sreenivasan should not have gone to speak to the students. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was to inaugurate the meet, cancelled it.