IndiGo ruckus: Pinarayi says Jayarajan saved him, rules out legal action

Vijayan insisted that the Youth Congress members were part of a plot to cause him serious harm. File photo

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ruled out any legal action against LDF convener E P Jayarajan for the alleged assault on Youth Congress members inside an IndiGo flight on June 13. The chief minister said that an investigation carried out by the Valiyathura Police had found that the claims of Youth Congress members that they were manhandled inside the flight was baseless. "Moreover, these Youth Congress members did not have such a complaint on the day of the incident. It was later that they came up with such a complaint," the chief minister said while responding to a Submission moved by Opposition Leader V D Satheesan in the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday.

Satheesan demanded that the government register a criminal case against Jayarajan after a high-level internal committee of IndiGo Company found the LDF convener guilty of Level-2 offence under the Civil Aviation Rules. Satheesan said Level-2 offence involved physical assault, a criminal act.

The chief minister, however, invoked Section 10 of the Civil Aviation Act to give Jayarajan a clean chit. He said that under this section, an act done in good faith could not be considered a violation. Vijayan said that Jayarajan was only trying to protect him from the Youth Congress men who he said were rushing towards him with violent intent. Vijayan insisted that the Youth Congress members were part of a plot to cause him serious harm. The chief minister said that both his gunman and personal assistant were injured in their attempts to save him from the rampaging Youth Congress workers.

He also said the WhatsApp chat of the Youth Congress revealed that there was a conspiracy to do away with him. In the series of chats, which had been leaked to the media, Youth Congress leader and former MLA K Sabarinadhan seems to suggest that protestors could not be thrown out if black flags could be shown inside a flight.

This, the chief minister, saw as a sign to put him in danger's way. "The chat shows that there was a plan to trap me within the aircraft," the chief minister said.

Vijayan then said why his suspicions were justified. "This is not the first time an attempt has been made on my life," Vijayan said. "Once I was even shot at. Another time, a person pointed a gun at me. The DySP who probed the case then said that it was only a toy gun," the chief minister said.

He also spoke of how a little boy's suspicion about a group of men who had gathered near a shop had saved him. Vijayan said that this team that came to kill him was led by the most notorious goonda in the area.

He also refuted Satheesan's observation that he had disembarked from the flight before the Youth Congress members had raised slogans. "I was there when the incident happened. I saw these attackers rushing towards me," he said thrice during his reply. Satheesan had said that both CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and even E P Jayarajan had said that the slogan-shouting began after the chief minister had left.

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