Thiruvanthapuram: After his motorcade came uder attack on Monday by SFI workers, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has alleged complicity of the police in the incident. Speaking to reporters in Delhi on Tuesday, Khan alleged that the protesters were brought to the spot in police vehicles.
The Governor reiterated the charge that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was behind the ‘conspiracy’ to attack him. He alleged that the trigger for the attack was a speech of Pinarayi’s three days ago in which he allegedly said the Governor was provoking the SFI workers.
The Governor demanded that cases under Section 124 of IPC – which lays down punishment for assaulting or restraining the President or Governor – should be registered against the ‘attackers’. The punishment under this section is imprisonment of up to seven years.
On Monday evening, 19 SFI workers who blocked the Governor’s motorcade, waved black flags and allegedly hit his car, were taken into custody and charged with obstructing the official duty of police.
The Governor said the incident denoted the ‘start of the collapse of constitutional machinery’ in the state and added that he would inform the Union government of the prevailing situation.
“Kerala is not a Communist state. It is a part of India, which is a democratic republic. Just because the government there is led by Communists, it does not become a dictatorial state,” Khan reminded.
Union Minister of State V Muraleedharan, who called on the Governor in Delhi, condemned the ‘attack’ and said the Kerala government was answerable for the ‘serious security lapse’. He alleged that the police had leaked the Governor’s itinerary to the SFI workers to facilitate the protest.
Meanwhile, the SFI leadership said the student outfit would continue with the ‘black flag’ protests without blocking the Governor’s motorcade. SFI, which has been protesting the Governor’s alleged attempts to ‘saffronise’ universities, said Khan would not be allowed to enter campuses in his capacity as Chancellor.
Ministers in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet criticised the Governor, with General Education Minister V Sivankutty likening him to a ‘goonda leader’. The Minister was referring to the Governor’s action of getting out of his car during the protest and ‘challenging’ the SFI workers.