Thiruvananthapuram: Former diplomat T.P. Sreenivasan was on Friday roughed up by student activists of the CPI-M when he came to attend a Kerala government seminar.
"I heard the students saying my name, so it means they knew me. I have already spoken to the commissioner of police about the incident," Sreenivasan told the media.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the incident was an insult to the state. Sreenivasan is known at an international level as a diplomat and he has made remarkable contributions to the higher education sector in his current assignment.
One of the protesters can be seen slapping Mr Sreenivasan on the face. He fell down on the road and was seen being helped by a person. A large number of police were present at the location.
The Student Federation of India (SFI) activists were camped at the event venue since Thursday evening, protesting the seminar, saying it was against the interest of the state and will benefit only the private sector.
The protestors had also threatened to block Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's way to the venue.
Sreenivasan, the vice chairman of the Kerala State Higher Education Council, was India's Ambassador to the UN.
Activists of the Students' Federation of India had gathered in front of the Global Education meet venue, alleging that it was meant for further commercialising higher education sector and allowing entry of foreign universities.
The students were later arrested and removed, police said, but a tense situation prevailed in the area since this morning.
Communist Party of India-Marxist district secretary Kadakampally Surendran alleged that the government was using police against students.
On being informed of the assault, Mr Surendran offered an apology on behalf of the students but said Mr Sreenivasan should not have gone to speak to the students as the situation was "tense".
Attack on me which many witnessed on tv was to get Global Education Meet cancelled at any cost. I was not badly hurt and Meet is going well.
— T.P.Sreenivasan (@Sreeniv) January 29, 2016