Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday dismissed the Opposition demand seeking legal action against former minister E P Jayarajan in an incident related to the Youth Congress protest inside an aircraft last month and said the LDF convener was in fact protecting the CM from the attackers.
Replying to a submission moved by Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan, Vijayan said the probe indicates that Youth Congress workers including its top leadership conspired to create this incident.
In a detailed reply, Vijayan also attacked airline company IndiGo which had on Monday imposed a flying ban on Jayarajan and two Youth Congress workers in connection with the protest on board the plane carrying the state Chief Minister last month.
Vijayan told the assembly there are allegations that the order of the internal complaints committee of IndiGo was one-sided and the order itself says that it was an ex-parte order.
”There are allegations that IndiGo company has taken a stance in support of the accused in the case. IndiGo’s failure to provide safety and security to its passengers and taking a stand favoring the attackers is in fact a threat to the safety of air travel,” Vijayan said.
Moving the submission, Satheesan asked the Chief Minister to register a case against Jayarajan for allegedly manhandling the Youth Congress activists.
”Our children (Youth Congress activists) raised slogans but Jayarajan assaulted them. The IndiGo company understood this and gave a higher punishment to Jayarajan,” Satheesan said.
A three-week travel ban has been imposed on Jayarajan and a two-week ban each on the two Youth Congress workers, Farzeen Majid and Naveen Kumar, by the private airliner.
The country’s largest airline’s decision came a little over a month after the incident on June 13, when the two protesters shouted slogans against the Chief Minister inside the IndiGo aircraft soon after it landed at Thiruvananthapuram airport from Kannur. Jayarajan, who was also on board, allegedly pushed aside the two protesters from reaching Vijayan.
”They are not children. One of the accused Youth Congress activists has 19 cases against him,” Vijayan replied to Satheesan adding that the Youth Congress top leadership conspired in the act.
”The probe indicates that the Youth Congress workers planned to create such an incident. They used the official WhatsApp group of the Youth Congress to conspire and a former MLA, who is now a state office-bearer of the Youth Congress, suggested that two people travel in the same flight from Kannur to Thiruvananthapuram and show black flags. Following this, they found a sponsor and booked three tickets for Rs 13,000 each,” Vijayan told the assembly.
Vijayan said Jayarajan was in fact attempting to stop the protesters from reaching the former.
”The activists moved towards the CM when the flight reached Thiruvananthapuram despite the opposition from air hostesses. The fellow passengers were worried by this incident. At this point, former minister E P Jayarajan attempted to block the attackers who were forcing their way towards the Chief Minister,” Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister also asked the opposition to ”show a basic decency to condemn such acts instead of justifying them”.
On June 13, the Youth Congress workers were protesting against the Chief Minister over allegations against him in a gold smuggling case.
Following the incident last month, the two protesters and another Youth Congress member were booked for attempt to murder, according to Kerala police.
The FIR by the police in Thiruvananthapuram said that due to political enmity, the three accused, namely Farzeen Majid, Naveen Kumar and Suneeth Kumar conspired to kill the Chief Minister and boarded the flight from Kannur to Thiruvananthapuram.
A case was registered against the three Youth Congress workers under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 120B (conspiracy), 307 (attempt to murder), and 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), the police had said.