SFI activists charged under Section 124 for attacking Kerala Governor

The stringent Section 124 was added in the FIR after the Governor issued instructions to the State Police Chief and the Chief Secretary in this regard.

SFI activists charged under Section 124 for attacking Kerala Governor

The SFI Representation image [Photo:SNS]

The Kerala police on Tuesday invoked Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the SFI workers who blocked Governor Arif Mohammed Khan’s vehicle and waved black flags at him on Monday night. Section 124 of the IPC pertains to assaulting the Governor with an intent to restrain him from exercising his lawful powers.

The stringent Section 124 was added in the FIR after the Governor issued instructions to the State Police Chief and the Chief Secretary in this regard. There were reports that the Governor had corresponded with the Chief Secretary and the State Police Chief seeking strong action against the SFI workers. The Raj Bhavan also officially gave a statement to the top cops on Tuesday regarding the act and sought strong action against the accused under Section 124.

At first, the FIR contained rather weak sections even though the protesting SFI workers jumped on the Governor’s car and tried to smash its windows. Earlier, the police had booked the SFI workers under minor offences, including unlawful assembly, rioting, obstructing traffic, and restraining public servants from discharging their duty. This was widely criticised.


The Cantonment police in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday registered a case against seven SFI workers who allegedly obstructed and attacked the Governor’s car. The accused have been booked under Sections 143, 147, 149, 283 and 353 of the IPC. Section 124 was invoked after the Governor issued instructions to the DGP and the Chief Secretary.

Section 124 of the IPC covers assaulting the President or Governor with the intent to force or stop them from exercising their lawful powers. The punishment for this offence includes seven years in prison and fine. Talking to the media in the morning, Arif Mohammed Khan said: “If an attack takes place on the President or the Governor, a case has to be registered under Section 124 of the IPC.”

The accused have been identified as Yadhukrishnan, Ashique Pradeep, Ashish R G, Dileep, Ryan, Aman Gafoor and Rino Stephen. According to the FIR, the Governor was obstructed by seven SFI workers and 10 other identifiable people under the leadership of the SFI district committee violating the law that no processions or demonstrations should be held on public roads.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Intelligence department gathered information 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.

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

Meanwhile, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has alleged complicity of the police in the incident. Speaking to reporters in Delhi on Tuesday, Khan alleged that the protesters were brought to the spot in police vehicles.

The Governor reiterated the charge that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was behind the ‘conspiracy’ to attack him. He alleged that the trigger for the attack was a speech of Pinarayi Vijayan three days ago in which he allegedly said the Governor was provoking the SFI workers.

The Governor claimed that his car was “attacked” by the SFI activists at the behest of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as he had called for a report on the financial health of the state government.

“The Chief Minister is saying the government is not bound to reply to every query of the Governor. Let him not reply. I will wait for 10 days. And then, if the state is in crisis, I must make my recommendations to the Central government,” Khan told media persons in Delhi.

High drama unfolded on the streets of Thiruvananthapuram on Monday night after SFI activists waved black flags at the Governor’s convoy while he was proceeding to the airport to board a flight to Delhi.

Some of the protesters advanced to the middle of the road and blocked the Governor’s car. An enraged Khan came out of his vehicle and alleged that the protesters hit his car from both sides and that it was a serious security lapse. “This is at the direction of the Chief Minister to hurt me physically,” Governor Arif Mohammed Khan claimed. He accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of sending “goons” to physically hurt him, and alleged that the constitutional machinery in the state seemed to be “collapsing”.