Debate in House on Marad report turns into a farce

via The Pioneer published on October 25, 2006



Thiruvananthapuram : About 20 members of the House who participated in the debate, resorted to political accusations and mudslinging forgetting to put forward any creative suggestions regarding the implementation of the commission’s recommendations.


The debate, originally scheduled for October 14,was postponed to Wednesday following the death of Mathai Chacko, MLA from Thiruvambady. The discussions centred around the right of the CPI(M) to launch a CBI probe into the carnage and Muslim League’s role in the events that led up to the incident. The net result was that the 21 recommendations in the commission report were totally forgotten by the legislators.


The debate, held amid an uproar, had nothing new to offer as it was strictly on the lines of the political development that had taken place following the tabling of the report in the Assembly.


Congress leader and former Minister Aryadan Muhammad, who initiated the debate after giving notice, devoted his time in defending Union Defence Minister AK Antony, who was Chief Minister at the time of the massacre. He said that Antony succeeded in ensuring that no riots followed the gruesome massacre in May 2003. He charged the CPI(M) with trying to unnecessarily accuse Antony of being responsible for the incident.


CPI(M) member P Jayarajan, who spoke after Aryadan, succeeded in enraging the Opposition benches with his attack on Antony. UDF members’protests filled the air after he said that there was no guarantee that Antony, who could not ensure security to a small fishing hamlet like Marad, would provide security to the nation in his capacity as Defence Minister. He added fuel to the UDF ire by saying that Antony would not have become Defence Minister if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had seen the Marad commission report.


Former law minister KM Mani, who found legal discrepancies in the report, said that the commission’s recommendation for a CBI probe into the carnage and the Government’s act of announcing a CBI probe were illegal.


Kutty Ahmed Kutty, who spoke on behalf of the Indian Union Muslim League, which had been indicted in the commission report, failed to present the version of his party effectively in the House. All he could say was that the Muslim League had never supported extremist elements.


The weakness in the UDF preparedness was evident as no member from the Opposition benches, except Oommen Chandy, tried to defend the Muslim League.


Former Chief Minister Chandy reduced the entire debate on the commission report to the factor of Hilal Muhammed, who had allegedly organised funds for the carnage.


Chandy said that neither he, when he was Chief Minister, nor Antony had seen any intelligence report referring to Hilal Muhammed. If there was such a report, it was Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan who should answer, he added.


Left-supported Independent MLA from Kuttippuram and former Youth League leader KT Jaleel alleged that the credibility of the Muslim League as a political party had been destroyed with the Marad report. K Sudhakaran, Congress MLA, sensed communal overtones and unreal references in the judicial commission report.

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