The second accused in Students Federation of India(SFI) student Abhimanyu's murder case surrendered to Kochi police on Thursday morning. Arif Bin Salim, who hails from Aluva, had been absconding for over 90 days, before finally surrendering himself, even as seven more accused in the case are still missing. Kochi police had issued a lookout notice on Monday for the eight accused who were yet to be arrested.
Arif was a district secretary of Campus Front of India(CFI), largely seen as the student wing of Social Democratic Party of India(SDPI). The main accused in the case, Mohammad Ali, was arrested by a team of Special Investigation Team(SIT) sleuths of Kochi police from near Kasargod on July 18, 2018, while he was on his way to Mangaluru in Karnataka. Mohammad was the president of CFI for Maharaja’s College.
Kochi city police had identified a total of 30 accused who were believed to be involved in the plotting and execution of Abhimanyu on July 2nd at Maharaja’s College in Ernakulam. Of them, 17 are believed to be directly involved in the scuffle that broke out before the brutal stabbing of Abhimanyu. Others were, as per police sources, part of procuring weapons, logistics and helping the accused flee.
So far, Kochi police have arrested 9 of the 17 accused who were involved in the altercation and the violence that broke out before Abhimanyu was stabbed. Arif’s is the 10th arrest.
After the brutal murder of Abhimanyu, there was a Kerala-wide crackdown on establishments owned and run by Popular Front of India(PFI) and SDPI, concentrated in areas like Malappuram and Kozhikode. The top four leaders of SDPI too were taken into custody by Kochi Police.
Clamour for a ban on PFI, SDPI, CFI and other affiliated organisation had grown after the murder of Abhimanyu as the police too believed that the stabbing was a premeditated murder to retaliate the resistance put up by SFI in collages against the radicalisation of young students.
On July 2nd, around midnight, Abhimanyu, a second-year BSc student in Maharaja’s College had been stabbed by a group of 15 to 18 students who had created the ruckus over graffiti on the walls of collage. This on the eve of freshers being welcomed into the college. The scrimmage had led to the death of 21-year old Abhimanyu and injured several others.