An tribal youth who faced several hurdles for a clearance before flying out to London for higher studies has posted on Facebook that he was beaten up by Students Federation of India (SFI) activists and harassed by some employees of the state secretariat.
Binesh Balan from Kasaragod has named his tormentors, including the two secretariat employees, and said they described him ‘an arrogant tribal’ just because he sought a file. Such harassment was meted out to him despite the fact that he was winner of a central government scholarship for his study in London.
Binesh said the SFI activists on Karyavattom campus in Thiruvananthapuram who assaulted him were well aware that he was an tribal. “These leftist youth outfits and student groups who raise their voice and fight for Rohit Vemula and dalits in north India even threatened to wreck my dream of higher studies abroad”, he writes. “They tried to paint me a dalit terrorist linked to Muslim extremist organizations”, he said.
His main charge against SFI is that its unit president led the assault on him on March 17 in his hostel room at a time when he was going through terrible distress because his visa application was rejected.
The attack came after Binesh had posted on Facebook that he was unable to go to the library in his distressed state. He had to be hospitalized after the assault. He thinks SFI might have been provoked by the FB post because they were staging a folk song performance in front of the library.
Many people had witnessed the assault, but the SFI tried to turn it against him. Binesh hopes the SFI leadership will realize their mistakes and correct them.
Binesh said he was totally ignored at the secretariat just because he was an tribal. The government had sanctioned Rs 1.50 lakh for initial expenses after he won the scholarship. He approached the secretariat to get the money. The bureaucrats were merciless. “Had they been kind to me, I would have reached London much earlier”, he writes.