‘CM promoting lawlessness’: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan gets Z+ security after faceoff with SFI | India News

‘CM promoting lawlessness’: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan gets Z+ security after faceoff with SFI | India News


The standoff between the Raj Bhavan and the CPI(M) government in Kerala escalated on Saturday after Governor Arif Mohammed Khan held a sit-in in front of a roadside shop in Kollam district after Students’ Federation of India (SFI) activists allegedly tried to hit his vehicle. Following the faceoff, the Union Home Ministry informed the Raj Bhavan that Z+ security cover of CRPF is being extended to the Governor.

Khan staged the unprecedented protest at Nilamel in Kollam for more than an hour, saying, “Chief Minister (Pinarayi Vijayan) is promoting lawlessness in the state. Lawlessness will not be allowed. It is the CM who is giving protection to these people. They are only the daily wagers of the chief minister. It is the CM who is responsible.” He only ended his protest after the police registered a case against 17 SFI activists and read out the FIR in which non-bailable sections were included.

The SFI, the student wing of the CPI(M), has been agitating against the governor, accusing him of filling up university senates with “Sangh Parivar men”.

Vijayan, in a press conference, hit back: “Those in positions of power would face different types of protest. What is relevant is how they react to such protests. Have you ever heard of a person in a position (of power) getting out of a vehicle to see what action police are going to take against those who black-flagged him? It is against security norms. Police will do their duty.”

Referring to CRPF cover given to the governor, Vijayan said that as head of the state, he (Khan) is in a position where he gets the most security.

He read out the names of some RSS workers in Kerala who are already getting CRPF cover. “Arif Mohammed Khan is also included in that list. He has relinquished the protection he was getting as the head of the state. Will CRPF rule Kerala, can they directly take a case? Can CRPF act according to the desire of Khan? What he should understand is that any position of power is below the rule of the country. Law is supreme. There are democratic practices and precedents. He is yet to acquire the prudence, which he should have shown,” said Vijayan.

Festive offer

The drama had unfolded when Khan was on his way to attend a function at an ashram in Kollam district, when a group of SFI men protested against him, raising slogans and showing black flags. A few of them who were waiting for the governor’s convoy allegedly jumped in front of his car with flags. Khan immediately stopped the vehicle and pulled up the local police, who were on duty.

Senior police officials tried to pacify Khan, but he insisted on initiating action against the protesters, who had disappeared from the scene. The governor also got angry with police officials for failing to prevent the SFI activists from protesting against him.

Khan took a chair and sat in front of a shop for almost two hours. In the meantime, he was heard directing personal staff to get in touch with the offices of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister.

Later, policemen met the governor with the FIR, registering a case against 17 people, including 12 who were named.

Before ending the protest, Khan told the media, “When I reached here, some people tried to hit my car. I have already said I have no problem if black flags are shown from a distance. But if somebody comes near my car, I will get down. Police say there were 17 people and you can count the number of policemen present here at the moment. My only question is, if the chief minister was passing by this road, would the police allow the protesters to hit the car?”

“I am not blaming the police. Police are taking orders from superiors. The chief minister of the state is promoting lawlessness in the state. It is the chief minister who is giving direction to police to give protection to these law-breakers. Many of them are facing a number of criminal cases,” he said.

Khan said more than 50 people were involved in the protest but the FIR was only registered against 17.

Last month, when SFI men had shown him black flags in Thiruvananthapuram, Khan had ventured out of his car and walked towards the protesters, saying, “Bloody criminals, come.” Then, turning towards the police, Khan said, “How did they come near me? Who is the police officer here? They (protesters) are criminals hitting my car.” He had also alleged that Vijayan had sent goons to physically hurt him.

Last week, the governor’s stand-off with the government saw him cutting short his policy address to the state Legislative Assembly to a mere 80 seconds. After the address, he had left the House in a huff. During his press conference, the CM referred to this, saying: “He (Khan) had no time to read the policy address in the state Assembly, but he had enough time to conduct a sit-in on a road for one-and-a-half hours. This is a challenge to the people of the state and an insult to the Constitution.”


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