THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A day after Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was forced to abruptly end his inaugural speech at the Indian History Congress (IHC) in Kannur following strong protest by delegates over his stance on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Khan once again threw his weight behind the Act saying that protecting the Constitution was his responsibility.
The governor on Sunday said historian Irfan Habib had tried to manhandle his aide-de-camp and added the protesters were not ready to hear him when he started responding to their position. Speaking to a news channel later, the governor reiterated that protocol was violated during the event.
“Governor’s programme duration shouldn’t be more than one hour. The organisers violated the schedule. The names of two speakers, including Habib, were not there on the initial programme list. But I sat there for one-and-a-half hours listening to speeches,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Khan summoned Chief Secretary Tom Jose to Raj Bhavan over the Kannur incident.
Sources said the governor expressed his unhappiness over the ‘protocol violation’ and sought a reply. Law Minister A K Balan tried to play down the turn of events by saying the chief secretary met Khan to apprise him of the details of the Cabinet decisions.
Kannur University vice-chancellor said earlier in the day that there was a violation of the protocol and Habib’s speech was not included in the programme schedule.
The governor met with protest after he spoke in favour of the CAA. Reacting to his speech, Habib, the IHC’s former president, stood up in protest and the delegates too joined him prompting the governor to cut short his speech and leave the scene.
During the meeting with the chief secretary, the governor reportedly expressed his discontent over the security measures put in place during his visit to Kannur.
Khan also sought reports from the state police chief and the Intelligence ADGP. The Raj Bhavan’s assessment is that the protest was planned in advance and the police had an inkling of what was going to happen, but they did not any take action.
In the all-party meeting held here on Sunday, the BJP representatives demanded to pass a resolution against the protests faced by the governor in Kannur, but Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan refused to do so, prompting the BJP members to stage a walkout from the meet.
Assembly to hold special session tomorrow
● The state government decides to convene a special session of the assembly on Tuesday
● Governor summons Chief Secretary Tom Jose to Raj Bhavan over the Kannur incident
● The CM has asked protesters not to cross limit and said strict action would be taken if communal outfits’ protests crossed limits