Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s Z security cover extended amid SFI’s ’Sanghi Chancellor’ protest

  • Kerala News: High drama played out in Kollam district in Kerala on Saturday when Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, facing SFI's black flag protest, got off his car, took on the agitating Left student wing members, sat on the roadside and hit out at the Chief Minister

Written By Sayantani Biswas
Updated27 Jan 2024, 06:35 PM IST
Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan.
Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan.

Kerala News: Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amit Shah headed Union Home Ministry has extended the Z security cover of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to Governor Arif Mohammed Khan informed Kerala Raj Bhavan. The move comes after Kerala's governor faced protest from activists, allegedly belonging to Student Federation of India (SFI) in Kollam on Saturday.

High drama played out in Kollam district in Kerala on Saturday when Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, facing SFI's black flag protest, got off his car, took on the agitating Left student wing members, sat on the roadside and hit out at the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in what seemed to be yet another chapter in the Raj Bhavan vs ruling LDF face-off.

A visibly angry Arif Khan accused Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of "promoting lawlessness in the state."

"It is him who is giving direction to the police to give protection to these lawbreakers against whom, including the state president of the organisation (SFI) many criminal cases are pending in the courts," Khan charged.

Governor Arif Khan also said he had not staged a protest but was waiting for the police to show him the FIR copy following his demand for action against the protesting members of the Students Federation of India, affiliated to the CPI-M.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also replied to Arif Mohammad Khan and said, “Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has been repeatedly taking a stand contrary to our democratic principles.”

“Kerala Governor stepping out of his vehicle was against security protocol. He should not have done that”, the CM alerted.

The dramatic scenes were witnessed at Nilamel in Kollam, located about 40 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

After sitting there for over two hours, Khan left the place only after the police showed him a copy of the FIR lodged against 17 SFI activists under non-bailable provisions of the law.

The Kerala Governor also questioned whether the protestors would have been allowed to line up alongside the police on the roadside if the CM was passing through that route.

Kerala Governor Khan also claimed that the protestors tried to hit his vehicle.

The Governor, while on his way from Thiruvananthapuram to attend a programme in Kottarakkara, saw SFI protestors on the roadside near Nilamel waving black flags and banners, stating "Sanghi Chancellor go back" -- at him, reports news agency PTI.

Irked, Khan ordered his vehicle to be stopped, alighted the vehicle, and walked towards the SFI, shouting "aao" (come) at them.

As he rushed towards the protestors shouting at them, the police personnel deployed there acted as a barrier between him and the SFI activists who kept yelling slogans at Khan.

After the police removed the protestors from the area, Khan took a chair from a shop on the busy MC Road and sat down there demanding action against the agitators.

According to visuals that were being televised, the Kerala Governor was heard telling his personal staff to get him the Police Commissioner or whosoever was there in his office. "Else call the Prime Minister's Office (PMO)," he was heard saying.

When the officers there requested him to resume his journey, the Governor refused and shot back, "I will not go. You (police) were giving protection to them (protestors) here."

"The police were standing there and giving protection to them. I will not go from here. If the police itself is breaking the law, who will uphold the law."

Even as the Governor sat at the roadside shop surrounded by his officials and police, slogans demanding that he "go back" could be heard.

Besides Kerala police, Arif Mohammad Khan's officials and local people gathered in large numbers at the spot after he decided to sit down at the wayside shop.

When reporters later asked Governor Khan if he had staged a protest, he said it was not so. "This is not any protest. Why should I protest? Why will I protest? I can take action. I was waiting for the FIR copy to come," Khan said.

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First Published:27 Jan 2024, 06:35 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaKerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s Z security cover extended amid SFI’s ’Sanghi Chancellor’ protest

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