Can't take law in own hands: Kerala Guv asks protesters to shun violence

Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Monday appealed to those protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) to desist from indulging in any violence as none had the right to take law into their own hands.

His remarks came hours after various students and youth outfits staged unprecedented protests across the state, including in front of his official residence, Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram, against the police action in Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi in connection with the CAA.

Protest marches were taken out past midnight on Sunday by members of various student outfits, including the ruling CPI (M), SFI and DYFI and the opposition Congress' KSU after the visuals of the students demonstrations and the police action against them in Delhi became viral on the social media.

Police had to use water cannons many times to disperse the protesters when they tried to jump the barricade in front of the Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram.

"We have no right to take law in our hands... we have no right to indulge in violence.." Khan told reporters in Kochi on Monday morning when his reaction was sought on the developments.

"If that happens, that I am not judge... I am not judging anything. But then the law says that the police is for that purpose only... the armed forces are for that purpose only...

That if somebody tries to create a situation whereby demonstration of physical force is used to impose their views, then we have these forces," he said.

However, Khan said differences of opinion and its demonstration are welcome and also invited the protesters to the Raj Bhavan for a peaceful discussion.

"As far as difference of opinion is concerned, that is welcome. We must have no grudge against them. Expression of that opinion, most welcome... demonstration most welcome... violence... no... big no...," the Governor added.

When asked by reporters about the stand of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that the new act would not be implemented in the state, Khan had on Sunday asked those opposing the new act "not to jump the gun" and to allow things to settle down.

He had also expressed the hope that elected governments would fulfill their constitutional duties.

The Governor had said he was certain that if there was an issue in a democratic society, elected governments-- both at the Centre and state -- would rise to the occasion and fulfill their Constitutional duties.

Vijayan had lashed out at the BJP-led government and said the "unconstitutional Bill" will have no place in Kerala and the state would not implement it.

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