UCA News

Indian bishops allege conspiracy against Church-run institutions

Amal Jyothi College in Kanjirappilly diocese witnessed violent protests after the suicide of a 20-year-old female student
A priest listens to students at the open house session in Amal Jyothi College in Kanjirappilly diocese in the southern Indian state of Kerala, in November 2022

A priest listens to students at the open house session in Amal Jyothi College in Kanjirappilly diocese in the southern Indian state of Kerala, in November 2022. (Photo: ajce.in)

Published: June 07, 2023 10:44 AM GMT
Updated: June 07, 2023 11:08 AM GMT

Bishops in a southern Indian state have alleged conspiracy against Church-run education institutions following violent protests in a prestigious diocesan college two days after a female student committed suicide.

Sradha Satheesh, a second-year food technology student at Amal Jyothi College of Engineering in Kanjirappilly diocese in Kottayam district in southern Kerala state, committed suicide on June 2 by hanging herself from the ceiling fan inside the hostel. The 20-year-old student is reported to have failed several subjects in the annual exams.

Two days later, the premium college, started in 2001, witnessed violent protests by students demanding action against the management and staff. Since then, the management has shut down the institution indefinitely.

“The protest in the college is part of a well-planned conspiracy to target Christian education institutions,” Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC), a regional body, said in a statement on June 6.

Cardinal Cleemis, head of the Eastern rite Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, asked the communist-led provincial government “to ensure protection of Christian institutions urgently” to avoid further damage.

The protest in the college, one of the top and most sought-after engineering colleges in the state, saw participation by members of the Students' Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the ruling Communist party.

The cardinal said the management will “cooperate with any fair investigation” into the death of the female student.

Father Boby Alex Mannamplackal, vicar general of Kanjirapally diocese, expressed “grief and sorrow” over her death.

Father Mannamplackal in a video message though dismissed foul play in her death, asserting that “when we found her hanging from the ceiling fan she was immediately taken to a nearby private hospital.”

Simultaneously, the priest said, “We informed the police and her family members.”

“We have sought a fair probe into the circumstances that forced her to take such an extreme step,” Father Mannamplackal noted.

Sradha Satheesh returned to the hostel on June 1 after the annual holidays. On the same day, her results were declared, the priest said.

Later, when her companions went for dinner, she stayed in the room and when they came back, they found the room locked from inside and later found her body hanging, the priest added.

The priest questioned the targeted attack on the institution with the active participation of SFI.

It is not the first time Christian institutions in the state have been targeted, Father Jacob G Palakkappilly told UCA News on June 7.

“Some vested interests,” the priest said, “are behind this well-orchestrated protest.”

Though Christians make up 18 percent of the state's 33 million people, they manage more than 5,000 state-funded schools and higher education institutions in Kerala.

Amal Jyoti College of Engineering is one of the premier institutions in the state.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
UCA News

Share your comments

1 Comments on this Story
Most of the students coming from kerala to other states also dont know how to behave in an instituition.Being malayalee i sometimes feel ashamed to say these r students from my state and how will these be Professionals tomorrow its not only in christian in institjition run by others also most malayalee students from kerala dont know to behave from a literate state.
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia