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Kerala Governor Faces Protests At Indian History Congress, Historian Irfan Habib Disrupts Speech

According To Tweets Posted By The Kerala Governor's Handle, Irfan Habib Objected To Arif Mohammad Khan Quoting Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Pawas Kumar | Updated on: 28 Dec 2019, 06:49:29 PM
Arif Mohammed Khan faced protests from some delegates and students at the Indian History Congress (IHC)

New Delhi:

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan faced protests from some delegates and students during his opening address at the Indian History Congress (IHC) on Saturday. He was also disrupted by historian Irfan Habib during his inaugural address at the event taking place at Kannur University. According to tweets posted by the Kerala Governor's handle, Habib objected to Khan quoting Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and shouted that he should quote Nathuram Godse.

Khan, who was the Chief Guest at the functon, was addressing the delegates, when he touched upon the protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) referred to by earlier speakers- CPI(M) Rajya sabha MP K K Ragesh and Habib. This led to the objections being raised by some delegates at the venue.

"Inaugural meet of Indian History Congress does not raise controversies. But at 80th session at Kannur university, Shri Irfan Habib raised some points on CAA. But, when Hon'ble Governor addressed these points, Habib rose from seat to physically stop him, as clear from video," one of the tweets said.

Another tweet said, "Shri Irfan Habib tried on stage to disrupt inaugural address questioning Hon'ble Governor's right to quote Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, shouting that he should quote Godse. He pushed Hon'ble Governor's ADC & Security Officer, who prevented his unseemly gesture."

Meanwhile, BJP slammed the protests as "government-sponsored."

"You have every right to protest. But you cannot shout me down", Khan said repeatedly as some of the delegates, sitting in front, took exception to the governor defending the CAA in his speech.

The governor also said, "when you shut the door for debate and discussion, you are promoting culture of violence."

Holding "reject CAA" placards, some students, said to be from Jamila Millia, Aligarh Muslim University and JNU raised slogans. Some delegates shouted "Kerala Governor shame shame" as Khan concluded his speech.

Later, the Governor told reporters that he had come with a prepared text and was going to speak from it and would not have spoken on the protests. However, since some speakers before him had mentioned about the CAA protests, he was forced to respond.

"I would not have spoken on this issue if it had not been raised it. Since you raised it, you are making political statements. I am under oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution", governor said.

Police removed four student delegates from the venue, but later released them.

Expressing concern over the incident, Indian History Congress Secretary said, "some the delegates were peacefully standing and holding placards.  They were roughed up by police".

A JNU delegate, Mercy, who is from Assam, said her state was burning.

"My state is burning. There is shut down in Kashmir since the past few months.... I will not be bogged down. My people have been silenced.. I cannot remain silent and pretend everything will be fine," she said.

The delegate, who was picked up by police, was later let off.

Police have also taken into custody at least 12 pro-Congress Kerala Students Union and Youth Congress activists and 5 workers of the Muslim Students Front, who showed black flags at the governor in Kannur as he arrived for the function.

Khan has been facing a slew of protests over the CAA since the past few days.

Meanwhile, BJP General Secretary M T Ramesh described as "government sponsored," the protest against the governor.

A detailed probe is needed and there was security lapse, he told reporters.

According to Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and facing religious persecution there, would not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

The Act said refugees of the six communities would be given Indian citizenship after residing in India for five years, instead of 11 earlier. 

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First Published : 28 Dec 2019, 06:17:09 PM