Hours after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was given Z+ security cover of the CRPF by the Union government, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took a snipe at the Governor, and asked, “Will the CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force] rule Kerala? What does he think?"
Addressing the media after Governor Khan staged a sit-in protest for two hours on Saturday, January 27, CM Pinarayi said that the Union government has been giving Z+ security to the RSS members. “These are all RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] activists, and now Khan's name has been added to the list,” he said. “Can the CRPF register a case here? There are laws in our country,” he added.
On Saturday, drama unfolded when the Governor protested against the alleged lapse on the part of Kerala police after SFI activists waved black flags and raised slogans against him while he was on the way to attend an event. Following this, the Governor stopped his car and expressed anger against the police. He then sat on a chair that was brought from a roadside tea stall and asked his Secretary Mohan to immediately call the Commissioner of Police. “If not, call the Prime Minister. You (pointing his fingers at the police officers present there) are responsible for this, I will not go from here. You are giving them (the protesters) protection. You are breaking the law. If not you (the police), who will uphold the law,” asked a fuming Khan.
After almost 90 minutes, the police informed him that they have registered a case against the protesters under non-bailable charges and they have been taken into custody. The Governor then got up and left for the programme where he was the chief guest.
Soon after the sit-in protest of Governor Khan, the Union government intervened in the matter and placed him under Z+ security cover of the CRPF.
Criticising the Governor, Pinarayi said, “He (Khan) doesn’t have time to read the Governor’s address in the state Assembly... he just read the opening and closing paragraphs. Even though technically it’s enough, if he can spend two hours sitting on the road, doesn't he have the time to read his full address?”
“If one looks at him, he looks perfectly healthy. But there are issues which need to be checked regarding his health. Health means several things,” the CM said, insinuating that the Governor had lost his mental stability.
He further said, “Those occupying seats of power will have to face protests, but what matters is the way such people react to these situations. Do people get out of their car and stage a protest demanding examining the FIR? Let the police do their job.”
During the press meet, CM Pinarayi said that given the recent acts of Khan, one needs to point out to him that he has to behave in a more mature manner and handle things in a more level-headed way. He also expressed doubts if the CRPF security cover came as a result of Khan asking for it. However, speaking to the media just before leaving for Bengaluru, Governor Khan had said that he didn't ask for CRPF security cover despite several attacks on him.
“I have not asked for any security cover. I have seen several attacks on my life as early as when I was 35. I am 72 now which is above the national average... so I am on borrowed time now. I don’t fear anything. It’s the Centre’s decision. I only did my duty to inform,” he said, adding that "may be the Centre has a lack of confidence in the state government”.
With the media covering the sit-in protest live, Khan got calls from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar and a few others and soon after a post appeared on his official social media account that the Union government had decided to provide him Z+ security cover.
Z plus security cover is the highest level of security protection offered by CRPF, which consists of 55 personnel, including 10 NSG (National Security Guard) commandos and police.
(With IANS inputs)