Jihad in Tamil Nadu – More to it than meets the eye!

via HARAN.B.R published on February 9, 2008

Today (9th February 2008), The New Indian Express has reported a news on its front page titled “Blast plot charge on five Kovai men found false”, which is of utmost concern to all the right thinking and peace loving citizens of our country. These five men belonging to a Muslim radical organization called MNP were arrested on the 22nd of July 2006 on charges of plotting a serial bomb blast in Coimbatore. Now, the CB-CID Police say that these men were arrested on false charges, but interestingly they have not come out with other facts on why the Coimbatore police foisted false charges and on whose instructions or influence they did so? It was also not reported in the media as to when this case was handed over to the CB-CID. To understand the ‘concern’ and the ‘gravity’ of the situation, we need to analyse the gradual growth of Muslim Fundamentalism in Tamil Nadu.

The last two decades of Tamil Nadu’s history would reveal the clandestine growth of Jihadi elements in the state. It is a known fact that the Students Islamic Movement of India, SIMI, was very active in many states across the country. After a ban was enforced on SIMI, the TN unit took the avatars of Al Umma & Jihad Committee. While the Coimbatore based Al Umma made its first major strike at the RSS HQs, Chennai, in November 1993 killing 11 Swayam Sevaks, the Jihad Committee disintegrated after the murder of its leader Palani Baba allegedly by Hindu youths. The TMMK (Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam) was launched in 1995 with a political colour to be deliberately different from Al Umma, which was an obviously violent organization. The TMMK gave a political colour to Islamic fundamentalism and it was a brain child of Hyder Ali, who came out of Al Umma after a tiff with his friend Basha, President of Al Umma. Hyder Ali was alleged to be a former associate of Palani Baba of Jihad Committee and now he acts as the General Secretary of the party. It can be recalled that very recently he issued a public threat (Modi will not go back alive!) against the Gujarat Chief Minister when he visited Chennai recently to attend the Anniversary Meeting of the weekly magazine “Thuglak” run by Sri. Cho.Ramaswamy.

The MNP is alleged to be the same old organization “Al Umma”, which changed its name as “Manitha Neethi Paasarai” (MNP) after Al Umma was banned for its execution of Coimbatore serial blasts, during DMK regime, on 14th February 1998, which took the lives of 60 innocent Tamil Hindus. The arrest of five MNP cadres with incriminating documents and a pipe bomb on July 22, 2006 was extensively reported in both English and vernacular media. It was reported that they were plotting for a serial bomb blasts similar to the one which was executed in 1998.

Subsequently the ‘Indian Express’ dated 26th July 2006, carried a detailed analytical report written by Ms. Jaya Menon, on the activities of MNP indulging in ‘conversion’ and conducting classes in the name of ‘Arivagam’ to brain wash new converts especially scheduled castes to train & recruit them in to Jihadi squads. The MNP is reportedly active in Theni and Coimbatore districts, which are close to Kerala borders, so that they can get connected with the Kerala based extremist organisation NDF easily, for plotting terror activities. After this, there was no noise about MNP in the media circles, though their activities were allegedly going on clandestinely.

Later, The New Indian Express dated17th February 2007 had reported as follows: –

“The ‘Q’ branch of the state police is now concerned about the formation of a new Islamic outfit, “Popular Front of India” (PFI), a coordinated effort between three organizations – Karnataka For Dignity (KFD), Karnataka, Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP), Tamil Nadu, and National Development Front (NDF), Kerala. The new organization was launched on Friday (16th February) in Bangalore, ‘to coordinate & strengthen grass root level developmental activities through out the country’ followed by an ‘Empower India’ conference in the garden city. Though the organization’s agenda has been well spelt out – democracy & social justice, the state police fear that the organization had been set up to propagate hardliner ideology. A ‘Q’ branch official had said, “What is worrying us is the fact that a majority of the leaders of this new front belonged to the now banned SIMI”. The decision to launch Popular Front of India (PFI) has been taken at a conference of KFD, MNP & NDF held on 22nd November 2006 at Calicut. The leaders of PFI include, K.M.Shareef, President of KFD, Gulam Muhammed, leader of MNP and Abdur Rahman Baqari of NDF and they have decided to confine their activities to South India”.

A close look at the “choice” of words in their nomenclatures, would tell us how cleverly they are playing their duplicitous game! The soft & gentle words such as Dignity, National, Development, Manitham (Humanity), Neethi (Justice), Popular and Munnetram (Improvement or forwarding), have replaced hard-line & fundamental words such as Jihad and other Arabic or Urdu words. They also claim that they work for Democracy, Social Justice and Development!

TMMK, which was lying low during the AIADMK rule between 2001 and 2006, struck an electoral alliance with DMK and started its activities with full force, the moment the DMK formed the government. It must be noted that, half a dozen cadres of Al Umma were released suddenly from Palayamkottai prison in May 2006, within days of the present DMK government taking charge. Even during last year’s Ganesh Chathurthi Festivals and Visarjanam (immersion) processions, the TMMK created a lot of hurdles in many places. The worst incidents occurred in Thammampatti near Attur in Salem district, where hundreds of innocent Tamil Hindus were arrested on false charges and it was also alleged that the state police committed human rights violations against the arrested Hindus.

Like Theni and Coimbatore, Tenkasi, close to the famous tourist hill resort Courtallam, is also close to Kerala border and TMMK attempted to develop this town also for its nefarious activities. An old issue between the two communities came in handy for the outfit to create a communal divide. Tenkasi is a small town with 80% of Hindus and 20% of Muslims and out of 35 wards 8 wards are totally dominated by Muslims. The main advantage for the Muslim community is that all the trading of essential commodities such as vegetables, groceries, medicines, eatables (Hotels), textiles and even electrical components is dominated by Muslims and the unfortunate Hindu majority has to depend on them. The small town is also a seat for a lot of Islamic Institutions such as Arabic Schools, Madarasas, Mosques and Darghas. The unrest between the two communities date back to 1925 as told by Sri.Sorna Thevar, the father of slain Hindu Munnani leader Kumar Pandian and a loyal “Congress” man.

The TMMK attempted to construct a Mosque on the land in a street directly opposite to the famous Kashi Viswanathar Temple and the concerned site is a property belonging to the Temple. Naturally enraged by the act of TMMK trying to construct a Mosque on a Temple land, Hindu Munnani leader Kumar Pandian objected to it and the TMMK cadres murdered him on the 17th of December 2006. Since then the town has witnessed repeated clashes and six murders (three Muslims and three Hindus, who are Kumar Pandian’s brothers) were committed on 14th of August 2007 and a blast occurred at Tenkasi RSS office and in an auto-rickshaw parked inside the new bus-stand on 24th January 2008. Surprisingly, the special police team has arrested Ravi Pandian, last brother of slain Hindu Munnani leader Kumar Pandian & three others, along with two other Hindu youths. One wonders why “Hindu” youths should bomb “RSS” office! The country has never come across Hindu youths or Sangh cadres connected to bomb culture, which is a monopoly of Jihadis. Any new person visiting Tenkasi could certainly feel the uneasy calm and a sense of fear looming largely over the Hindu majority town.

Subsequently this arrest was welcomed by TMMK and Mr. Jawahirullah, President of TMMK had posted an article http://www.twocircles.net/2008feb05/sangh_parivar_activists_arrested_blasts_rss_office.html – praising the TN police for arresting the Hindu youth, in a Muslim website called www.twocircles.net on the 5th of February.

The TMMK is a very influential party with the present DMK government and there seems to be an alleged ‘pattern’ in the way the police is handling the crimes, in which Muslim extremist organizations like TMMK, MNP and Al Umma are involved. TMMK strikes an electoral alliance with DMK. Immediately after taking charge, the government issues an order for the release of half a dozen Al Umma activists from Palayam Kottai prison. TMMK president Jawahirullah in an interview in SUN TV (‘Nerukku Ner’ – ‘One on One’ program) immediately after the formation of DMK government, requests for the release of Coimbatore blasts accused. The government arranges an Ayurvedic Spa for the treatment of dreaded terrorist Abdul Madhani in Kovai Prison and he was subsequently acquitted. Hundreds of innocent Tamil-Hindus were arrested allegedly on false charges in Thampmampatti over the problems created by TMMK cadres against Ganesh Chathurthi festival celebrations. The only bread winner of a big family Ravi Pandian and two other Tamil-Hindus were arrested for a bomb blast in Tenkasi RS office. Lastly five MNP cadres were exonerated from charges of plotting serial bomb blasts. So, there seems to be more to it than meets the eye!

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