'Was not afraid despite 5 attempts on my life, not worried now': Guv Khan on SFI protests in Idukki

Amidst protest by DYFI, SFI and Youth Front (M) governor Arif Mohammed Khan inaugurated the Karunya Family Welfare Scheme of Kerala Vaypari Vayasai Ekopana Samithi in Thodupuzha. Photo: Special arrangement.

Idukki: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Tuesday inaugurated the Karunya Family Welfare Scheme of Kerala Vaypari Vayasai Ekopana Samithi in Thodupuzha amidst widespread protests by DYFI, SFI and Youth Front (M).

Speaking at the traders’ event Governor Khan said that in public discourse ‘force of argument needs to be used and not argument of force'.
“I resigned from the Union Cabinet when I was 35. From 1985 to 1990, there were five attempts on my life. In 1990, I was hit on my head with an iron rod. Now, at the age of 72 years, I am living on borrowed time. I do not feel threatened by these protests and blockades. The use of threat and force goes against the grain of democracy,” Khan said.

He said he holds a constitutional obligation to perform and there is no question of his ego or prestige overriding him while performing his duties. “There is no compromise on certain things and that is… law and rules could not be banned to serve the interest of certain individuals belonging to a particular political dispensation. The interest of the common man in Kerala will be uppermost priority while I discharge my duties,” the Governor said to an applauding audience at the event.

While coming out of the Merchant Trust Hall where the event was held, the Governor shook hands with the public and exchanged pleasantries. During this time, SFI activists were protesting against the Governor holding banners and black flags.

Speaking to media persons Khan said that he won't be intimidated by any protest. Citing the example of his walk through Kozhikode's SM Street, he said that he was willing to walk through the roads of Idukki if necessary.

Even though CPM had stated that it would not block the Governor who was visiting Idukki during the district-wide hartal called by the party against him, its youth wing workers flashed black flags at him at Achankavala,Vengalloor and Shappupadi. The black flags were flashed while the Governor was on his way to the venue of the event in Thodupuzha. Some protesters who tried to reach close to the convoy were blocked by cops. The police also stopped SFI workers carrying ‘Go Back Governor’ banners from marching to the venue of the programme.

CPM workers who took out a rally as a part of the hartal in Thodupuzha raised slogans calling the Governor ‘rogue’. SFI had also put up a banner near the venue of the governor's event at Shappupadi in Thopuzha which said: “Sangi Khan, You are not welcome here.”

As many as 500 cops were deployed in Thodupuzha during Governor’s visit.

After inaugurating the event at around 11.15 am, the Governor reached Thodupuzha Guest House situated 500 metres away from the venue. SFI and DYFI workers were seen chasing his convoy as it reached the guest house.

The Governor left Thodupuzha at around 12.30 pm. In total, black flags were waved at him at eight places.

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