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Students stage protest during Kerala Governor’s speech at Indian History Congress

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan was forced to conclude his inaugural speech at the 80th Indian History Congress at Kannur University here on Saturday following a strong protest by delegates and student delegates, who had come from various parts of the country.

Four student delegates from Jamia Millia Islamia University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Aligarh Muslim University were picked up by the police when they raised placards and shouted slogans against the Governor, alleging that his speech was provocative.

The protesters alleged that the Governor raised the Kashmir issue and Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) to provoke the delegates. The protesters, however, were later let off following the intervention of Kannur University.

Mr. Khan, who began by stating that he had prepared the speech, pointed out that despite calling the protesters, who were against the CAA, on three occasions, they refused to speak.

“When you shut the door for debate and discussion, you are creating a culture of violence,” he said, adding that they were not coming forward to discuss as they were afraid.

The Governor later said no distinction could be made based on the faith of the person, but the partition of the country had created an extraordinary situation.

Mr. Khan said people in Kerala had not been affected by Partition. The people here had a sense of empathy and even without knowing the issue they came and joined when the neighbour agitated. However, Partition had affected the thinking of people in northern India, he said.

Just when he pointed out that for Pakistan Kashmir was still an unfinished story, the student delegates raised placards condemning the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

When the police tried to stop the protesters, the delegates at the venue too were provoked and started shouting slogans against the Governor and the police.

A furious Mr. Khan told the protesters that they could not shout him down and that they would be moved out if they continued to protest. He reiterated that they had come with an agenda and a thought. He pointed that they had no right to create disturbance and violence at the venue.

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