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SFI protesters criminals hired by CM: Kerala Governor

SFI protesters criminals hired by CM: Kerala Governor

Malappuram: Those protesting against him at the Calicut University premises are criminals hired by the chief minister, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan told media here.

The students' wing of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala has held a large protest in front of the Calicut University, where the Governor was scheduled to visit in the evening, PTI reported.

The Students Federation of India (SFI) has been protesting against the Governor allegedly pushing BJP-RSS nominees to the senate of various universities in the state using his authority as the Chancellor of the universities in the state.

The SFI protest at Calicut University was led by its state secretary, P M Arsho and president Anusree. Many students, including the office-bearers, have been arrested by the police.

Police have increased the security in and around the university campus ahead of the Governor's visit.

Earlier in the day, Khan had challenged the students, saying he would be staying at the university campus in an apparent bid to take on the pro-Left student union.

"I was planning to stay at the government guest house. Then, I was told that they (SFI) had said that they wouldn't allow me to enter the university. Then I said change the programme, and I will stay at the university campus itself," Khan told reporters in New Delhi.

Addressing the students as part of the protest blocking the way to the campus, Anusree said the Governor ignored the University list and pushed the sangh parivar nominees in the senate.

"The Chancellor has been behaving like a fascist. If he behaves so, he needs to stay outside the campuses. We will stage the protest to safeguard the secular campuses from the communal forces," Anusree said.

The Governor is scheduled to reach the campus at 6.30 PM today.

Police have arranged all measures to ensure smooth passage of the Governor.

The Governor today said he would get out of the car in case the protestors reach the vehicle.

"If someone comes near my car, I will immediately stop it and get down. Why should they hit my car? They should hit me. If they have guts, they should hit me. They want to frighten me. I am not the one who can be frightened. They are bullying," Khan said.

Recently, while on his way to the International Airport at Thiruvananthapuram, the Students Federation of India activists allegedly attacked Khan's car, following which he alighted from the vehicle.

The student union has been protesting against the actions of Khan as the Chancellor of the universities and nominating BJP-ABVP activists as senate members in various universities.

The SFI, the youth wing of the ruling CPI(M), has been alleging that Khan's actions were part of the saffronisation agenda of the BJP.

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