Is Kerala Police biased in protecting CM & Governor?

Although the CM and the Governor are of the same security category, the police were seen taking different approaches towards them.

Is Kerala Police biased in protecting CM & Governor?

Representational image (Photo: iStock)

The alleged attack on Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who comes under the Z+ security, by the workers of SFI, the student wing of the CPI-M, on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, raises questions about the double standard of police in protecting the state Chief Minister and the Governor.

Although the CM and the Governor are of the same security category, the police were seen taking different approaches towards them. While no one is allowed to come closer to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s motorcade, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan was attacked in the middle of the streets of Thiruvananthapuram on Monday evening.

The opposition UDF and the BJP have been highlighting the ‘double standards’ of the state police in providing security to the Governor and the Chief Minister, though both of them come under the Z+ security cover.


A serious police lapse was confirmed in the incident when SFI workers stopped the Governor’s cavalcade at three places in the state capital on Monday. Only a few police forces were deployed in these places which adds to the doubts about police complicity in the case.

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has alleged police complicity in the entire incident and claimed that the agitators were brought to the spot in police vehicles. The Governor alleged that attempts were made to hurt him physically by ‘goondas’ at the behest of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

It has been reported that the pilot vehicle accompanying the Governor’s motorcade slowed down as soon as the SFI protesters were seen and the policemen got out of the car for a while. When the pilot vehicle stopped, the Governor’s car too stopped abruptly. This facilitated the SFI workers to come near the Governor’s car to show black flags and raise slogans. They also hit his car and thrashed the bonnet and rear glass of the vehicle.

The police neither tried to stop the protesters, who were on the side of the road, or prevented them from jumping in front of the convoy.

The state Intelligence had issued three warnings about the Students’ Federation of India’s (SFI) plans to protest against the Kerala Governor. The three warnings issued in 24 hours warned about the display of black flags and a possible attack against Governor Arif Mohammed Khan. Although the Intelligence report had suggested that additional security should be provided to the Governor, the higher-ups in the police ignored it.

It has been reported that the Intelligence department has found that the Governor’s travel route, which the City Police Commissioner had instructed to keep confidential, was leaked to the SFI on Monday morning by a leader of the police association.

It is been alleged that the police attitude was soft towards the SFI protesters. At first, the police booked the SFI workers under minor offences, including unlawful assembly, rioting, obstructing traffic, and assaulting public servants from discharging their duty. It may be noted that the police invoked IPC Section 124, which pertains to assaulting the governor with an intent to restrain him from exercising his lawful powers, against the SFI workers after the Governor issued instructions to the DGP and the Chief Secretary in this regard.

The Governor alleged that while attempt to murder charges were invoked against the Congress activists who threw shoes at the Chief Minister’s vehicle, only milder sections were invoked against the SFI workers who hit his vehicle and tried to assault him.

In its order on Thursday, the Thiruvananthapuram Judicial First Class Magistrate dismissed the bail applications of seven SFI workers, observing that the incident was serious and the act of the accused persons against the Governor, who is under Z+ security, can only be considered as an attack.

Meanwhile, Governor Arif Mohammad Khan accepted the challenge of the SFI leadership that they will not allow him to set foot on university campuses in the state. Taking up the challenge of the student wing of the CPI-M, Governor Khan reached Kozhikode on Saturday and will stay at the Calicut University Guest House till Monday.

Before leaving for Kozhikode, Governor Khan told media persons in New Delhi on Saturday morning that he would confront SFI activists if they attempted to block his car. “If they come near my car, I will stop the car and get down from it,” he said.

“I am simply not putting up any allegations. You can see from the video how the protesters jumped into my car. However, just imagine the same protest happening against the Chief Minister. Will the police allow anyone to go near his convoy?” he asked.

Anyway, I am taking up the SFI challenge. Those people are gangsters and I have no peace pact with them. I have no concern about police security either,” the Governor added.

Kerala SFI president P M Arsho had on Tuesday said, “The Governor would not be allowed to enter any university in the state if he went ahead with the plan to saffronise universities. The SFI is fighting for the higher education sector. He (Khan) had unilaterally nominated persons to the university bodies in accordance with a list provided by the RSS. The Governor has flouted all norms. There would be strong protests against saffronisation.”