Marad carnage: Justice delayed- justice denied?

published on May 2, 2013

10 years have passed by since the gruesome massacre at Marad took place. But there seems to be complete denial with the call for a CBI probe into the larger conspiracy behind the massacre remaining unaddressed.

On 2 May, 2003, a violent Muslim mob resorted to the massacre of 8 persons belonging to the Hindu community on the Marad beach of Kozhikode. On May 2, 2003, nine people eight fishermen and one of the attackers were killed in Marad. The attackers came from the sea under the cover of night, hacked the fishermen who were sleeping on the beach and escaped.

Five years after the carnage, the Maradu judicial Commission submitted its report revealing plainly that the Communist Party and IUML had a prominent role in the planning and execution of the massacre.

Thanks to the state government headed by AK Antony, a CBI enquiry was ruled out. This was conveniently seconded by the Left that sat in the opposition.

A CBI enquiry was first recommended by Justice Joseph Commission to probe into the conspiracy involving fundamentalist forces and terrorists in the Marad massacre. The report was particularly critical of the Indian Union of Muslim League, the ruling Congress’ coalition partner in the United Democratic Front. The commission clearly states that some IUML leaders were aware of the conspiracy behind the massacre.

Terming Antony’s refusal to hand over the case to the CBI as “unjustified”, it said, “The failure of the Crime Branch CID to investigate into the larger conspiracy involving other forces, source of all weapons and the source of the large funding in the planning and execution of the massacre at Marad beach on May 2, 2003 is quite suspicious and disturbing.”

The report states that activists of the National Development Front — a Muslim organisation with a base in Malappuram — and a few IUML activists were actively involved in the planning and execution of the massacre at Marad beach. ‘It was unlikely that the attack did not have the blessings of their leadership at least at the local level,’ says the report.

The Commission specially pointed out that the former district collector TO Suraj had an ample hand in helping the miscreants. It also exposed the biased report furnished by Assistant Commissioner of Police M Abdul Rahim which lead to withdrawal of police forces from Marad after first riot in 2002.

In December 2008, a court had convicted 63 of the 139 accused in the case. On 16 January, 2009 a special court in Kozhikode sentenced 62 people to life imprisonment for the communal killings.

Additional sessions judge (special court) Babu Mathew P Joseph sentenced Abdul Latheef, secretary of the local Juma Masjid committee to five years’ imprisonment. Latheef was charged with misuse of a place of worship.

The prosecution simply said that the massacre was a revenge for the 2002 violence in Marad in which three Muslims and two Hindus were killed over a minor altercation.

The Commission’s recommendation was to form a multi-agency consisting of the officers of Central Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation and Directorate Revenue Intelligence.

Following the Centre’s rejection of the demand for a CBI probe, the special team only comprised three senior officers (SPs) from the state police force with C M Pradip Kumar, the then Crime Branch – Crime Investigation Department (CB-CID) SP, as the head, three DYSPs, two sub-inspectors, three assistant sub-inspectors and three civil police officers.

However, inspite of all these, the recommendations mentioned in the Marad Commission were never implemented. Protesting against the delayed justice, many prominent Hindu leaders embarked on a protest fast to mark the second stage of protests over the carnage.

The protests were launched by Kummanom Rajashekharan voicing an entire society’s grief over the government’s inaction in handing over the probe to CBI.

“Even though the High Court had observed in August 2012 that an intense probe into the larger conspiracy behind the massacre was required, the state government has not yet initiated a probe. Both the UDF and the LDF governments have denied justice to the Araya community,” says Bharatiya Matsya Pravartaka Sangh state president NP Radhakrishnan.

“Soon after the massacre, the then chief minister A K Antony had assured us that the government was ready to probe into the incident using any agency suggested by the Araya community and would bring all the culprits before the law to ensure peace in the region. However, nothing has happened till date,” he said.

The protests, as expected, led to the immediate arrest of these leaders including state President of Hindu Aikya Vedi Sasikala teacher, RSS Pranthakaryavahak Gopalankutty Master and 28 leaders of various Hindu organizations. They were later released on bail.

The protests that have been organized so far and the protests that will be organized henceforth will be clarion calls seeking justice. A probe into a vital and crucial happening, which can be termed as one of the grossest instances of breach of security, and which requires continuous and persistent investigation, is now carried out by a sub-inspector of the team without proper directions.

As a Tweeple Manya R Rao asks, “Today is the 10th anniversary of Marad Hindu Massacre. No outrage, documentary reel, mombatti march etc?”

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