SFI accuses Governor Arif Mohammad Khan of saffronising Kerala's higher edu sector

The state government and the governor have been at loggerheads over bills pending in Raj Bhavan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Members of the SFI, the student's wing of ruling CPM, clashed with police during their march organised to Raj Bhavan on Wednesday accusing governor Arif Mohamad Khan of saffronising the higher education sector in the state.

The SFI activists crossed the barricades installed by the police in front of the Raj Bhavan. They broke through the barricades despite heavy police bandobast.

However, the cops were forced to act when the students rushed towards the main gate of the Raj Bhavan. A water cannon was used to disperse the crowd. But with the students turning violent, the cops had to resort to a lathi charge.

SFI Secretary Arsho and President Anu Sree were among scores of activists who were arrested and removed by the police.

The SFI organised the Raj Bhavan march as part of its state-wide strike in educational institutions demanding the resignation of Arif Mohamad Khan.

The SFI accused the governor of attempting to place RSS-backed people in key positions in the universities. It alleged that RSS spokespersons were being considered for various university senates.

Meanwhile, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Wednesday said that the state government should come to Raj Bhavan and explain the need for urgent action on any bill or ordinance. "Instead of speaking to me through the media, I request the chief minister to visit Raj Bhavan and discuss the urgency of any ordinance or bill. I assure you that decisions on such issues will be taken purely on merit,” he said.

The state government and the governor have been at loggerheads over bills pending in Raj Bhavan. The matter had reached the Supreme Court recently and during a hearing on the matter, the apex court had categorically asked the Governor as to why he blocked the bills for two years.

The top court had also asked the Kerala governor's additional secretary to refer to its recent verdict in the Punjab case, where it had held that governors cannot; "thwart the normal course of law-making."

The ruling CPM had mounted an attack on the Governor accusing him of acting in an anti-democratic manner to scuttle the bills passed by the Kerala legislative assembly.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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