Even though Governor Dr. Arif Mohammed Khan had a peaceful time in the busy sweets street in Kozhikode, SFI – Police confrontation took a serious turn in the Calicut Varsity Campus just before he inaugurated the seminar. Police resorted to lathi-charge and arrest prior to the inauguration of seminar on the “The Contributions of Sree Narayana Gurudev, Chattambi Swamiji & Shubhananda Gurudev towards the renaissance of Kerala” on December 18 afternoon. Hundreds of SFI men entered the campus with the intention of disrupting the programme. Push and shove took place between police and SFI men. Lot of SFI men are arrested and removed. But, they could not jump the police barricades. Their target was to intimidate the Governor. Several protesters were clad in black dress. They raised black banners and flew black balloons.
But, Governor inaugurated the seminar and addressed the peaceful gathering. Afterwards he met the media persons before returning to the guest house. Then he drove to airport and flew back to Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city and the seat of the Raj Bhavan.
Interestingly, Vice Chancellor Dr. M.K. Jayaraj who was scheduled to preside the seminar, did not turn up hence Swami Chidanandapuri of Sanatana Dharma Peetam presided. It is to be remembered that Governor had summoned the VC on December 17 to the guest house and sought explanation for the undesired happenings in the campus. Then Raj Bhavan Secretary sought VC’s explanation too.
At Thiruvananthapuram airport, on arrival, Governor said that he would do the needful to bring discipline back to the campuses. He said, he is answerable to the Rashtrapati alone. He said, he is keen to invigorate the academic standard in higher education sector.
He told the media that SFI do not represent the entire student community in the state. He added that when he visited the Kozhikode market there was no protest anywhere. The same was the situation when he went to attend the wedding of the Indian Union Muslim League leader’s son. On the other hand, people were all smiles to welcome him. He was indirectly hinting that protests took place only where the police provided security in advance. He reminded the media persons that he had asked the State Police Chief to withdraw his additional security. He had told in Kozhikode that the defamatory banners were erected at the behest of CM Pinarayi Vijayan. When he was asked about his BJP links, Governor said that when he walked through the markers in Kozhikode, it was not BJP men who welcomed him and gave him halwa, but, ordinary people.
SFI has erected banners in Thiruvananthapuram. There is stringent security measures in the city since Governor has to drive from airport to Raj Bhavan. The security has been beefed up in the wake of the leakage of the details of the Governor’s route when he returned from Delhi last week. However, SFI men had gathered at some places to wave black flags, but, they were stopped by the police by force. Raj Bhavan also is under heavy police protection. Reports suggest that black banners were erected in the presence of the police. Police had got information in advance that SFI would stage black flag demonstrations, but, there was no precautions from the police to avoid it. They did not remove the flags and banners.
In short, December 18 revealed before the people of Kerala that Dr. Arif Mohammed Khan is a different sort of Governor. He proved that he would not bow down before the violence of SFI or CPM.