Cops foil Islamists’ bid for ‘secret meet’

via VR Jayaraj | Kochi - Daily Pioneer published on July 18, 2010

The Kochi police on Sunday claimed to have foiled a bid by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), to hold a ‘secret meeting’ in the city even as reports said that PFI representatives from southern Kerala held a ‘secret meeting’ at Thakkala in Tamil Nadu.

The SDPI meeting in Kochi, however, took place and it decided to hold a ‘long march’ from July 27 to 31 in the State to protest against the police raids on the outfits’ offices across Kerala in the context of the July 4 attack on a college professor. The assailants had chopped off his right hand for preparing a question paper that allegedly blasphemed Prophet Muhammad.

When the SDPI activists and leaders from Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam and Thrissur districts reached the venue of the meeting in Kochi, the police said they wanted to watch over the proceedings. The SDPI leaders rejected this but the police insisted that the meeting would not be allowed to take place if they were not allowed inside the hall. The outfit later agreed to the demand.

Leaders of the SDPI claimed that there was nothing secret about the meeting. “We had even placed our flags outside the hall,” said an SDPI activist. However, the police said the meeting was supposed to take place secretly, claiming that there was no register mentioning the names of participants.

At the same time, reports said that about 50 leaders and representatives of the Popular Front from the southern Kerala districts had met at an auditorium at Thakkala in Tamil Nadu to discuss about the raids on the outfit’s offices and to decide on the future course of action. Officials in the Kerala Police said that the information had been passed on to their counterparts in Tamil Nadu.

It was reported that the Intelligence wing of the Tamil Nadu Police had been watching the development in Thakkala. A late evening report from Thiruvananthapuram said that Intelligence officials of the Kerala Police had left for Thakkala after receiving information that another Popular Front meeting was to take place there in the night.

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