Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was unable to attend an event in Bhopal on Saturday following protests by right-wing activists.
Pinarayi Vijayan, who was in Bhopal on his maiden visit, was to attend an event organized by Malayali Association in Bhopal at 5.30 pm. However, minutes before the event was to begin, several activists from Bajrang Dal and other right-wing organizations protested against the increasing number of attacks on BJP/RSS workers in Kerala.
According to reports, Pinarayi Vijayan was on his way to the venue and was prevented by the police from attending the event citing security reasons. After officers in the CM’s convoy were alerted about a possible security threat at the venue, it is also reported that Pinarayi took a call not to attend the event in view of the crisis.
19 people including Bajrang Dal leader Devendra Rawat were arrested by the police. Rawat told reporters that Pianrayi Vijayan had no right to speak about human rights.
“We had inputs that he was here to give a lecture on human rights. But the person who is behind the killing of several RSS workers has no right to speak on such subjects. We will protest,“ he said.
Manorama Online reports that the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government later apologized for the incident, with Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan speaking to Pinarayi over the phone. The state DGP reportedly apologized to him in person.
Earlier in the day, Pinarayi had come down heavily on the central government for its demonetisation move.
CPI (M) leaders criticized the BJP-led MP government for failing to provide enough security to the Kerala CM so that he could have attended the event.
CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury lashed out at the MP government accusing them of refusing security to Pinarayi Vijayan.
"BJP's govt in Madhya Pradesh refuses security to Kerala CM from RSS goons. So not even a pretence of governance left under BJP now?
We know RSS runs the BJP & its govt. Now so brazenly, with direct control of state police. MP CM must apologise for this shameful behaviour," he said.
Refuting such allegations, DGP Rishi Kumar Shukla said, "There was no question of not providing security to the Kerala Chief Minister. I don't want to comment on what the CPI (M) is alleging. It has not happened."