Muslim League Conspired to ignite Communal Riots in North Kerala

published on August 11, 2011

Muslim League ‘conspired’ to ignite riots
VR Jayaraj | Kochi – Daily Pioneer

The Muslim League had tried to ignite riots in northern Kerala and the clashes between its workers and the police on November 15, 2009 were part of this programme, top police officials have reportedly told the judicial commission probing the clash. The Congress-led Government, in which League is a major partner, had last month decided to dissolve the commission.

One Muslim League worker had died in the police firing during the clashes and another died in the attack by some rival groups in Kasaragod during a reception accorded to League leaders there. The Oommen Chandy Government had last month dissolved the judicial commission sparking off charges that this was done due to compulsions from the Muslim League.

The statements given by Ramdas Pothen, then Superintendent of Police in Kasaragod, and DySP KV Raghuraman, told the one-man commission of retired district judge MA Nissar that the Muslim League workers had selectively attacked establishments of other religions and there was the involvement of Islamists in the clashes, according to reports.

The statements of Pothen, given in an affidavit, and Raghuraman, presented through Special Prosecutor Muhammad Kalathil, and the evidences collected by the panel have clearly indicated that the clashes in Kasaragod were preplanned. According to Pothen, the activists had made centres like a prayer hall, a colony and shops of Hindus their selected targets.

They also suggested that clashes with the involvement of the League and suspected Islamist elements had occurred simultaneously at Thalipparambu in Kannur district and Nadapuram in Kozhikode district. These indicated that there was a larger plan to unleash riots all over the Malabar region, known for its concentration of Muslim population.

The Muslim League denied the reports saying that party workers were victims of the clash and police firing. League leader and Industries Minister PK Kunhalikutty alleged that judge Nissar was a Marxist. Panchayat Minister and League leader MK Muneer said that the reports were based on statements of police officials who could be named as accused.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said there was no commission report and that he did not want to respond to reports that did not exist. State Congress president Ramesh Chennithala said the League would not deliberate create social tensions. However, judge Nissar said he would not make any comment as he was yet to be informed of any decision of dissolution.

The State BJP said it was inappropriate for the Muslim League leaders to continue in the Cabinet in the present context. This would not augur well for the peaceful atmosphere of the State, it said. The party asked the Congress whether it was prepared to reconsider its relations with the Muslim League.

In his affidavit, Pothen told the commission that the Muslim League workers in Kasaragod were seen selecting their targets with precision after splitting into various groups. While one group attacked a Dalit colony and a prayer hall of Hindus, another targeted shops run by Hindus in the town.

Pothen told the commission that the activists had attacked the police with stones and other weapons when they tried to stop them, following which lathi-charges and bursting of teargas shells had to be carried out. When these also failed, he fired three rounds from his service revolver leading to the death of Muslim League worker Muhammad Shafeeq.

Though almost all senior Muslim League leaders were present at Kasaragod town for the reception during the clashes, there were no efforts from their part to control the activists, it was stated. The leaders had known well that the party had been given permission only to hold a reception and not for any rally or demonstration, he said.

The statement given by the Special Prosecutor pointed out that several of the stones used by the activists in their attacks were not commonly found in Kasaragod, suggesting the involvement of elements from outside. It was also stated that the simultaneous clashes in Thalipparambu and Nadapuram pointed to a larger conspiracy.

The LDF has already alleged that the 20-member Chandy Cabinet, in which the League had four Ministers including Kunhalikutty, decided to dissolve the commission after they got the indication that some of their names could come up in its report.

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