Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 30 (PTI) A section of students of an aided college burst crackers and displayed ‘condolence’ messages in the campus as a farewell to the retiring woman principal in northern Kasaragod district, triggering a controversy.

The incident came to the media limelight after a video of students bursting crackers and the message put at the auditorium of the Nehru Arts and Science College at Kanhangadu in the district, went viral on the social media.

The handwritten message says “condolence to the principal who died in the hearts of students….”

Reacting to the incident earlier this week, P V Pushpaja, the principal,said “it is very painful for me in the 40 years of my teaching career to get such a response from the students whom I considered as my children.”

The principal, who is retiring next month, said she was yet to recover from the shock of the turn of events.

Pushpaja alleged that members of the Students Federation of India (SFI), the students wing of the ruling CPI(M), was behind the act.

There were differences of opinion between the principal and the members of the outfit on various issues.

“I am sure SFI activists were behind the act. I will decide the legal steps against this after consulting with the college management,” she told TV channels.

However, the SFI leadership said the outfit would not agree with such kind of acts by its members and would take stringent mesaures if anybody in the outfit were found to be guilty.

Opposition leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala and KPCC president M M Hassan condemned the incident.

Chennithala, in a Facebook post, said the act was a “disgrace to the literate Kerala.”

In 2016, members of SFI had courted controversy after allegedly preparing a symbolic ‘grave’ for the woman principal as a ‘retirement gift’ at the Government Victoria College, Palakkad.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.