Kozhikode, Jun 26: Opposition leader in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday said he had taken up the issue of ragging of a nursing student from the state with the government in party-ruled Karnataka, urging it to ensure safety of thousands of students from his state studying there.
Chennithala said he had spoken to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on this issue and he had ensured he would look into the matter. [Karnataka: 3 arrested for ragging nursing student]
"I spoke to Karnataka CM Siddharamaiah requesting that he ensure the safety of thousands of Keralite students studying in his state and he assured me he would look into the matter," he told reporters at a meet the press programme at the press club here.
He was speaking after visiting the 19-year-old student at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital here. Steps should be taken to enable the student continue her studies in Kerala itself, he added.
Nineteen-year-old Aswathi was allegedly force-fed toilet cleaner by her seniors at the hostel of Al Qamal College of Nursing in Kalaburigi on May 9, seriously damaging her internal organs. She is now battling for life at Kozhikode Medical College hospital.
On the liquor policy, he alleged that the Kerala government was deliberately trying to make the state a "liquor hub" by reopening closed bars, which was apparent from the Governor's address yesterday.
On the Mullaperiyar dam issue, over which Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads for long, he said the state wants a new dam to be constructed and not fresh studies.
"We are not in confrontation with the Tamil Nadu government. At the same time, we have to ensure safety of our people in five districts," the Congress leader said.
In this context, he referred to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's meeting with Prime Minister Modi last week, seeking help to raise the water level to 152 feet.
"But the present government's stand here is not to protect the interest of the state," he alleged.
On May 7, 2014, the Supreme Court had held that the 120- year-old dam is safe and allowed Tamil Nadu to raise the water level to 142 feet and ultimately to 152 feet after completing strengthening measures on the dam, located in Idukki district of Kerala.
The dam is under the administrative control of Tamil Nadu as per a 999-year lease agreement and caters to irrigation needs in southern districts of Tamil Nadu.
While Kerala had been pressing for a new reservoir on the ground that the present one is dilapidated, Tamil Nadu is opposed to it, saying the structure was safe.