Kerala Governor's Provocative Stand Sparks Security Upgrade

Centre announces Z plus CRPF security for Khan

Thiruvananthapuram: The Centre on Saturday decided to provide CRPF Z plus security cover to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan in the wake of the continuing protests by CPM-led student organisation SFI across the State.

A tweet posted by Kerala Raj Bhavan PRO said;``Union Home Ministry has informed Kerala Raj Bhavan that Z+ Security cover of CRPF is being extended to Hon'ble Governor and Kerala Raj Bhavan.

The centre’s decision came close on the heels of an unprecedented sit-in protest by Governor Khan on the roadside at Nilamel for nearly two hours. It all started when the Governor was on his way to Kottarakara to take part in a function.

At Nilamel which is about 40 km from the state capital, about 50 activists of the SFI had gathered on the state highway with black banners and flags to protest against the governor. As the governor’s vehicle approached the protest site, the students raised slogans and waved black flags.

Taking everyone by surprise, Governor Khan came out of his vehicle and started walking briskly towards the protestors saying in a challenging tone “aao aao” (come come). This provoked the protestors who raised the pitch of their slogans “Governor go back governor go back” and tried to move closer.

As the governor moved further towards the protestors, the security personnel and his staff faced some anxious moments trying to bring the situation under control. They struggled to keep the protests away from the governor.

Subsequently, the governor resorted to an unprecedented action. He sat on a chair on the roadside and gave instructions to his staff;`` Mohan ! Amit Shah sahab se baat karvao , yah koi bhi ho unke yahan (please connect me to Amit Shah sahab or anyone in his office). Aur Nahin to prime minister ke yahan baat karvao. Hiren Desai se (Or else connect me to prime minister's office, get me Hiren Desai ji)

When a police officer tried to persuade him to go back to his car, Khan shouted at him;``No I will not go back. You are giving protection to them here. They were standing here under police protection. I will not go from here. If the police itself breaking the law, who will uphold the law.”

“If the CM is passing by this road, will you allow them to collect here. You are allowing these goondas to rule the roads of Kerala. I don't want to argue with you on something which I have seen with my own eyes,” he was heard telling the state DGP over phone.

The governor sat on the chair for nearly two hours. He returned only after getting the copy of FIR.

He accused the chief minister of orchestrating the attack.

“All this is being done under the instructions of the CM. I am waiting for the report so that I can send it to the Centre. The government wants to divert people’s attention from its failures by carrying out such protests,” he told media persons.

The governor alleged that by sponsoring these protests, the state government wanted to provoke him to take some drastic action. “I am not going to oblige them,” he said.

Meanwhile, SFI state secretary P M Arsho accused the governor of provoking students through his provocative behaviour. “Our members were protesting peacefully on the road side with black flags and banners. There was no reason for the governor to come out of the car and challenge the protestors. He charged at the students trying to provoke them which is totally uncalled for,” he said.

He refuted the governor’s charge that the SFI activists tried to hit his vehicle. The SFI leader said there was no attempt from their side to block his vehicle.

Cabinet ministers flay Governor's behaviour

While Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan responded with a smile to questions on the governor’s actions, his cabinet colleagues hit out at Khan for what they called his irresponsible and protective behaviour.

Local bodies minister M B Rajesh suspected that there the governor’s actions were part of an agenda. “Governor’s protest is invariably followed with statements from union minister. This clearly shows that the protests are not spontaneous. All this is being done deliberately ahead of the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

Education minister V Sivankutty said this was the fourth “show off” on the streets by the governor. “If he is under the impression that he can threaten the democratically elected government through such protests, he has got it completely wrong,” he added.

Union Minister V Muraleedharan said Pinrayi Vijayan’s Kannur style of silencing opponents is on display against the governor. “But if Pinrayi things that he will be able to rein in the governor using such tactics, then I am afraid he has not understood Arif Khan yet,” he said.

On Saturday evening SFI organised another protest near the Government Guest House where the governor addressed a conference of State Information Commission. The cops whisked away protest activists from the site.

The SFI activists were carrying black flags and butter milk as part of their protest. “Governor Khan sat in hot sun for nearly two hours that’s why we are carrying buttermilk him to cool him down,” said a SFI leader.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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