Kerala Governor Arif Khan receives Z+ security amid ongoing tussle with students

This latest development comes after Governor Khan faced a series of black flag protests and a highly publicized roadside dharna demanding action against SFI members.

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Courtesy: X

Amidst escalating tensions with student activists from the Students Federation of India (SFI), the Union Home Ministry has granted Z+ security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. This latest development comes after Governor Khan faced a series of black flag protests and a highly publicized roadside dharna demanding action against SFI members.

The official X (formerly known as Twitter) handle of the Kerala governor posted, “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 :PRO,KeralaRajBhavan.” 

High Drama Unfolds

On Saturday, while traveling to a function in Kottarakkara district, Governor Khan encountered a black flag protest staged by SFI activists. Videos circulating online showcase Khan's visible frustration as he exited his vehicle on a busy MC Road in Nilamel, Kollam. He proceeded to take a chair from a nearby shop and stage a sit-in demonstration, demanding immediate action against the protesting students. In heated exchanges with police personnel, Khan accused them of inaction and questioned their role in upholding law and order.

Police Register FIR 

Responding to the incident, police promptly registered an FIR against 13 SFI workers under various sections of IPC, including Section 143 (unlawful assembly), Section 144, Section 147 (rioting), and  Section 124 (assaulting a public servant).

BJP Raises Concerns

Union Minister V Muraleedharan also criticized the Kerala government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, alleging their failure to ensure the Governor's safety. He questioned the police's inaction and suggested deliberate negligence. He said, "If the protest was informed to the media prior, then it was obvious that the state government knew about it. The police should have removed the protestors in that case. Or they should have changed the governor's route. Instead of doing all this, they let the protestors attack the governor."

Governor Accuses CM of Fostering Lawlessness

Governor Khan himself leveled strong accusations against Vijayan, claiming the Chief Minister promotes lawlessness within the state. He further alleged Vijayan's direct involvement in directing police to offer protection to the "lawbreakers," against whom multiple criminal cases are pending.

Protests Stem from University Senate Appointments

The escalating tensions between Khan and SFI activists stem from ongoing disagreements regarding the Governor's role as Chancellor of various universities in Kerala. SFI members accuse Khan of using his authority to favor "BJP-RSS nominees" while overlooking qualified candidates recommended by the universities themselves. This issue recently reached the Kerala High Court, which temporarily stayed the nomination of four students appointed by Khan.

A Signal of Escalation

The Union Home Ministry's decision to grant Z+ CRPF security to Governor Khan signifies a heightened perception of threat amid the ongoing conflict. The coming days will be crucial in understanding the trajectory of this tense situation and its potential impact on Kerala's political and educational landscape.