Muslim League’s Communal Violence was preplanned – Crime Branch

published on August 19, 2011

Muslim League’s Kasaragod violence was preplanned: CB
VR Jayaraj | Kochi – Daily Pioneer

The conflict in Kasaragod on November 15, 2009 which led to a police firing in which one person was killed was the result of a pre-planned attempt by workers of the Muslim League, second largest constituent of the ruling Congress-led UDF, to ignite communal riots, according to the Crime Branch of the Kerala Police.

Crime Branch (Organized Crimes) DySP MJ Sojan, who investigated the incident, said in the affidavit he submitted to the now-dissolved MA Nissar judicial commission that the evidences he had gathered and the statements he had taken from those arrested had proved that the Muslim League workers had tried to ignite a communal riot in Kasaragod.

Sojan said that about 500 Muslim League workers had come prepared for the clashes with weapons and stones. He said the activists had stolen a grenade from a police vehicle and that Sameer, an arrested activist, had admitted this. Sojan’s findings are a confirmation of the police’s earlier conclusion that there was a conspiracy to foment riots behind the Kasaragod clashes.

Ramdas Pothen, then SP in Kasaragod, and DySP KV Raghuraman had in their statements told the commission that the Muslim League workers had indulged in violence during a reception accorded to party leaders with the intention of sparking off communal riots. It was Pothen who fired at the rioters in which one person was killed. Another was stabbed to death during clashes.

However, the Muslim League leadership rejected the statements of Pothen and Raghuraman saying that they were people who should become accused in the Kasaragod police firing case. However, the findings as stated in Sojan’s affidavit have now pushed the Muslim League further into the defensive.

Sojan’s affidavit also indicated that there was no significant CBI probe going on. The UDF Government had dissolved the Nissar commission on the ground that the CBI was looking into the incident as per a High Court order. However, Sojan’s affidavit has strengthened the suspicion that the commission was dissolved to sabotage the probe in order to save the Muslim League.

The Crime Branch DySP’s affidavit confirmed the findings of Pothen and Raghuraman that the Muslim League activists had carried out focused attacks on Hindu worship places, commercial establishments and residential colonies. He also said that Pothen had fired three rounds from his service revolver, in which an activist was killed, when the rioting was getting out of hand.

The statements of Pothen and Raghuraman and the evidences collected by the commission had indicated that the clashes in Kasaragod were preplanned. Though almost all senior Muslim League leaders were present at Kasaragod town during the clashes, there were no efforts from their part to control the activists, it was said.

The police officials had 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, indicating that there could have been a larger plan to unleash riots all over the Malabar region, known for its concentration of Muslim population.

It was at this stage the UDF Government headed by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy took the strange decision on July 26 to immediately dissolve the Nissar commission after voluntarily giving it a six-month extension on June 21. The commission had held only one sitting and the second session was scheduled to be held on September 2.

Critics of the UDF have alleged that the 20-member Chandy Cabinet, in which the Muslim League had four Ministers, had decided to dissolve the commission after they got the indication that names of some of its top leaders could come up in its report.

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