Youth leader

Kerala Police arrest Congress Leader KS Sabarinathan for ‘jeopardizing’ CM’s safety aboard Indigo flight

State Police arrested Youth Congress (I) Deputy Speaker and former lawmaker KS Sabarinath on charges of plotting the alleged attempt on the life of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on a plane Indigo who landed in Thiruvananthapuram from Kannur on June 13.

News of the arrest came shortly after Mr Vijayan told the Assembly on Tuesday that the police investigation had uncovered a well-established plot to jeopardize the Chief Minister.

“WhatsApp Evidence”

He said WhatsApp communication between YC(I) leaders in their dedicated group indicated the organized nature of the crime.

Mr. Vijayan quoted the text of the YC(I) State Leadership Group: “The Chief Minister is flying to Thiruvananthapuram from Kannur. If two people board the flight and stage a protest under the black, they cannot be expelled from the plane”. .

Mr. Vijayan identified the sender as “YC(I) leader and former legislator”. Mr Vijayan said the leader had urged his supporters to endanger the CM. It was an unprecedented call to violence.

“No political group working within the bounds of the Constitution would resort to such extreme methods,” he said.

“YC (I) management authorized the attack”

Mr. Vijayan said the YC(I) leadership had chosen a person to sponsor the plane tickets of the three “attackers”. The sponsor paid ₹13,000 each for a ticket. The defendants had abused airport security by concealing the true intention of their trip. “One of the suspects is a columnist with 17 pending criminal cases against him. And congressional leaders say he is an innocent youngster,” Mr Vijayan said.

The CM said the accused pushed aside the cabin crew and advanced menacingly towards his seat when the plane touched down in Thiruvananthapuram.

DFL convener blocked ‘attackers’, CM says

DFL host EP Jayarajan blocked their path. The CM said his security guard and assistant were injured in the melee. The Valiathura police had registered a complaint against the accused based on his statement. Police have so far arrested three people in relation to the “serious offence”.

Sabarinathan asks for early bail

Mr Sabarinathan had applied to the Supreme Court of Magistrates’ Court on Monday for bail after Valiathura police summoned him for questioning.

On Tuesday, a government prosecutor told the court that police arrested Mr Sabarinath on charges of conspiring to compromise the safety and security of the CM.

The prosecutor said Mr Sabarinath’s alleged offense amounted to endangering the safety of a civilian aircraft.

YC(I) activists invade the police station

When news of the arrest broke, dozens of YC(I) employees swarmed the police station. They shouted slogans, accusing Mr. Vijayan of launching a political witch hunt against “peaceful” opposition protesters and the YC(I) leadership. YC(I) State Chairman Shafi Parambil, MLA joined the protesters. The police fortified the post with additional reinforcements from the nearby Armed Reserve Police camp.

LoP slams CM for ‘police authoritarianism’

Opposition leader VD Sateeshan told the House that Mr Vijayan was trying to stifle the democratic right to peaceful protest. “The CM brought attempted murder charges against two youths who peacefully protested against him. The authoritarianism of the police was a disgrace to the LDF government,” he said.

Mr Sateeshan pointed out that the police had not lifted a finger against Mr Jayarajan who attacked the youngster. The police had protected him at the request of the political leadership of the front in power.

The FDL organizer acted in good faith: CM

Mr. Vijayan replied that Mr. Jayarajan had acted in good faith to protect the person of another passenger. The rules of civil aviation offered him protection. The defendants had filed a false complaint against Mr. Jayarajan to mitigate the seriousness of their offense in the public domain. However, the police found the objection untenable.

CM accuses Indigo of security breach

Mr. Vijayan said Indigo Airlines’ three-week ban on Mr. Jayarajan was unilateral, arbitrary and issued ex parte. “Allegations are rife that Indigo’s internal board of inquiry sided with the defendant,” he said.

Mr Vijayan criticized the airline for failing to ensure the safety and security of passengers. Moreover, Indigo had sided with the attackers. “Such an approach by a carrier poses an inherent threat to aviation security,” he said.