vidya, forgery, kerala

Certificate forgery in Kerala: Former SFI woman leader, on the run, arrested; another missing

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Kerala’s ruling CPI(M) and the main Opposition Congress are locked in a bitter war of words over fake certificates, an issue that has led to the arrest of a young Marxist leader while another young party leader is on the run.

Smelling an opportunity, the Congress has gone on the aggression, accusing the Left Front led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) of protecting those involved in illegal acts.

The CPI(M) has refuted the allegations and came to the aid of the Students Federation of India (SFI), its student wing, whose two former members face charges of using fake certificates to advance their careers.

While expelled SFI leader Nikhil Thomas is accused of submitting a fake certificate to secure a seat in an M Com course in a college in Kayamkulam in Alappuzha district, former SFI member Vidya K Maniyodi is accused of furnishing a fake teaching experience certificate to secure a faculty post in a government college.

Vidya was arrested on Wednesday night from a village in Kozhikode district after absconding for nearly two weeks. Thomas was booted out of SFI’s primary membership on Tuesday. He is on the run.

Vidya, on her part, says the case against her is fabricated, and there is a political conspiracy behind it.

Congress attack

Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala on Thursday alleged that the Left government in Kerala and the police were protecting the accused and giving them time to destroy evidence.

“That is why it took 15 days to arrest Vidya. She had 15 days to destroy evidence against her. If the police wanted to, it could have caught her within hours,” he told the media at Kasargod.

“Now Thomas is also in hiding. He will be caught after giving him sufficient time to destroy evidence,” he added.

Denying this, CPI(M) leader and former state minister AK Balan said the opposition was more concerned over minor issues instead of criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi doing yoga abroad when Manipur was burning.

He said the SFI cannot be blamed for what Vidya and Thomas did.

Speaking to reporters at Thiruvananthapuram, Balan also said SFI was under attack because it had emerged as a strong force among students.

CPI(M) defence

He said the police and the state government will root out those engaged in making and selling fake certificates.

The KSU, the student wing of the Congress, claims that Thomas failed in the B Com degree at MSM college but while taking up M Com, he provided a certificate from Kalinga University in Chhattisgarh.

Vidya was accused of cheating government colleges in Ernakulam and Palakkad.

Balan also came to the defence of his party secretary M V Govindan, who is facing flak from the Congress for his recent against KPCC chief and MP K Sudhakaran in connection with a POCSO case in which controversial self-styled antiques dealer Monson Mavunkal was sentenced to life term in jail.

(With Agency inputs)

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