Communal intolerance on the rise in Alappuzha

via www.dailypioneer.com published on February 9, 2006

Pioneer News Service/ Alappuzha


Communalism, fundamentalism and arms training are rearing their ugly heads in Alappuzha district.


 The recent police action in Mannancherry, near Alappuzha town, points to the fact that communal intolerance is on the rise in Alappuzha.


According to a report of the special branch of the police, several arms training camps are active in the district and weapons are being transported to Alappuzha from other places, including Tamil Nadu.


Some communal organisations are sponsoring classes and physical training, a special branch officer told The Pioneer


There are over three dozen such camps functioning on the outskirts of Alappuzha town, he said.


As a result of this, the district, which once witnessed several struggles for social justice and equality, has now become a hotbed of communal strife, he added.


Poverty, illiteracy and unemployment among youths are some of the factors that make it easy for communal organisations to influence people of the area.


In Alappuzha, export of coir products and marine products is monopolised by particular communities and this is the chief cause of severe financial imbalance in the area, a local said.


The managements of the two sectors – coir products exports and marine products exports – are keen on providing jobs for persons belonging to their respective communities, he said.


This has led to large-scale unemployment among youths. Remittance from non-resident Indians have also contributed to intolerance among a section of the people, the police officer revealed.


Weapons are brought in to Alappuzha from outside the district almost daily, he said


Over 300 lorries reach Alappuzha daily from other parts of Kerala as well as from outside, especially Tamil Nadu. It is easy to smuggle in weapons in these lorries since at present there are not enough facilities for the police to check each and every lorry that comes to Alappuzha, he said.


The special branch officer said people who smuggle weapons in lorries are getting protection from politicians.


The police estimate that over 3,000 people from outside the district – both students and teachers – are living in various religious institutions in Alappuzha.


A large number of outsiders visit Alappuzha daily and some of them live here for many days. Most of them are involved with religious classes as trainers.


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