KASARGOD – Scorched in communal fire
Based on article by Sri T. Vijayan in Kesari Weekly (dated 01 April 2012)
Perhaps Kasargod would be the only place in India, which still observes December Sixth as a horrible day with hartals, demonstrations and other tensions, even after two decades of the demolition of the controversial Babri building at Ayodhya. Kasargod has second place in Muslim population in Kerala. The people who give full credits to Muslim league, for maintaining peace in Kerala during the days of Babri demolition, intentionally forgets the killings, destruction of Hindu temples and burning of Hindu houses happened in Malappuram and Kasargod districts.
The number of registered police cases, which are communal in nature in the Kasaragod district in the last decade is 1113. But chargesheets were prepared only for 427 cases among them. The history of communal crimes in Kasargod district of the last ten years is startling.
The Kannur D.I.G. of Police Mr. S Sreejith conducted a study on the issues reported in Kasargod, which are communal in nature. The report was submitted to the Director General of Police Kerala. The report reveals shocking facts and statistics of those crimes. The number of accused criminals who involved in such cases were 11000 (eleven thousand), but the number of arrests made is just 480 only. The main reason for this is politicization of cases or freezing of cases due to political pressure. The IPC section to be used of communal crimes is 153.A, but the number of such cases registered with that section in the district is less than 50. The political parties politicizes conflicts between religions groups, then local police makes the charge sheets with minor political conflicts thus avoids the usage of section 153.A. There are 65 cases where the case themselves were withdrawn. It happens when the religious mob gets political support. Another striking fact is that not a single person got punished in any of the communal cases reported from the district.
Among the 1113 incidents, 1000 incidents were occurred in the 90 Kilometer seashore area near to National Highway. In this stretch the maximum distance between the Sea and National Highway is 25 Kilometers and the minimum distance is 4 kilometers. Another specialty of Kasargod, when compared to other districts in Kerala, is majority of Hindu or Muslim population does not live mingled. The authorities should give importance to the study report as communal issues have become a day-to-day issue in Kasargod. The B.J.P. and C.P.I. (M) accepted the recommendations in the report but Muslim League and UDF rejected them. The problem they (IUML and UDF) see is ‘political conflicts being characterized as communal conflicts’. The reaction of IUML is suspicious; it seems to be the green flag to keep the report in cold storage. The cancellation of Nissar commission is another evidence of such vested interest. It is a well-known fact that the whole UDF is hijacked by Muslim League in every sense.
In all the conflicts happened in Kasargod one side is always Muslim League or other terrorist organizations which has support from Muslim League. The other side could be some Hindu organizations, CPI(M) or BJP. Most of the conflicts get started from the Muslim side.
Broadly, there are two types of issues happen in Kasargod.
• Issues which are communal from the start itself
• Issues which start as political conflicts, but takes a communal turn after some time
Offences against Hindu temples, activities aimed to violate the sanctity of temples, assaulting Hindu processions, etc. belong to the first category. The other one is destroying the flags and decorations of other political parties in connection with some Muslim League Meeting or Event, performing wild and dangerous bike riding in the towns and common places wearing green shirts to threaten others, starting violence as a closing ceremony of some IUML (Indian Union Muslim League) event etc.
An example of intentional offence against other religions or worship places was the placing of a blood-filled Buffalo head on the light stand of Mippugiri Durga-Parameswari temple. They also tried to create confusion by circulating false news and allegations that it was done by Hindus themselves. The truth got disclosed when the police arrested the culprits. But the media did not report it.
The violence occurred in connection with the reception given to Mr. Cherkkulam Abdulla when he became the minister, the assaults after Kunjhalikkuttis programme are examples of converting political issues to communal ones. Here are the details of the few of them, just to reveal the severity of the problem.
Last year on Oct 9th, there was a function at Kottacheri near Kanjhangad in order to inaugurate a Panakkad memorial building. People wearing ‘green’ dress started bike race and started destroying CPI(M) boards and calling names on Hindus. One autorikshaw was also attacked. The auto drivers and SFI activists started a procession in a reaction to it; they destroyed some shops, flags and decorations of Muslims. Mr Priyesh, who was reading newspaper at Theruvam A.K. G center, got attacked by Muslim League members. The CPI(M) members attached Iqbal Juma Masjid and some Muslim Shops as a protest against this attack. The Muslim League vs CPI(M) conflict became a Muslim-Hindu conflict with in no time. The peace came only on Oct 14 when a ‘Shaantiyathra’ was conducted after huge efforts. Though the problems started due to political reasons, all the crimes were communal in nature. In police records all these were termed as political only.
On January 21st 2001 an issue started when Hindus started to construct a fence at Sri Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple ground based on a court order. Some Muslims filed a case against it. Hindus got support from BJP and CPI(M). Muslims were supported by Muslim League and SDPI. In the Nileswaram circle too, all the CPI(M) – Muslim League conflicts happened in the year 2001 gradually became Hindu Muslim communal conflicts. The DIG report also says that, Congress and CPI(M) tried to exploit the communal issues surfaced at Kanjhangad in the year 2003.
A Hindu procession was assaulted in 2004 at Arialil. The police Addl Sub Inspector who tried to prevent it, lost his eyes in the attack. One of the accused in this case is the divisional convener of NDF (National Democratic Front). In Madhur panchayath when BJP held a procession when they won the elections got attacked at Churiya. Fifteen cases were registered against both sides in connection with this issue. Twenty four cases were registered in 2006, and twenty one in 2007 – these years were the most peaceful years in the decade. In 2008 Mr Sandeep was murdered alleging that he passed urine near to a mosque. Three other people were killed in the continuation. BMS district vice president Adv Suhas has murdered near to his office itself. Mr Sinan and Muhammed also got murdered.
On the 20th of August 2009 (Ramzan), around 500 Muslim youth gathered near Kasargod bus stand. Some of them started doing adventurous bike rides, which frightened the people. When the police tried to stop one of them they started throwing stones and glass bottles towards the police.
The reception organized for Muslim League leaders at Kasargod town on 15th November 2009 also resulted in communal conflicts. The miscreants from the meeting place attacked the Amay Hindu Colony and destroyed flags and posters of other political organizations. Two people lost their lives in that conflict. In 2010 the issues started when someone painted green crescent moons on the wall of Mallikarjuna Temple fence.
Terrorist organizations like NDF gets strengthened in the Muslim pockets of the district, they get the political safeguard from Muslim League too. In every conflict most of the damages are happening to the Hindus. In most of these incidents either Muslim League members or CPI(M) members get accused. The political leadership of both parties influences the police not to impose IPC 153.A in order to protect their party men. The police and political leadership, both work in coordination to project that Kasargod is void of any communal issues.
The number of accused in crimes in the district is very much higher than the total number of police personnel in the district. So DIG Sreejith recommended increasing the strength of the police in numbers and arms through his report. The police heads know that, the only way to free Kasargod from communal issues is to allow the police to work independently and unbiased. That would allow the police to take strong actions against the miscreants and culprits. But, the Muslim League which cancelled the Nissar commission and intervenes in all cases in the district would not let the home department to take any stern actions in this direction.
Another shocking aspect of these communal crimes in Kasargod is it is getting spread to nearby districts as well. In Thaliparamba one Mr. Abdul Shukkur got killed in a political issue, the Muslim League tried to collect fund from the mosque after the during the Friday worship implicitly projecting it as a communal one. Usually these tactics were used by the Muslim terrorist organizations like NDF, but now Muslim Leagues too uses the same approach. Recently, the attacks happened against some of the selected shops at Thaliparamba were suspected to have such communal roots. The political conflicts between Muslim League and CPI(M) in the places like Nadapuram, Kuttyadi, Valayam seems to have communal essence. The politics in those areas seems to be giving way for the vested and deadly communal interests.
In Thalasseri, when there were constant conflicts between RSS and CPI(M), the CPI(M)’s claim was they were doing it for protecting the minorities. But, when these minorities attack CPI(M) members based on their religion all the claims proves to be hollow in every sense. It is also to be noticed that, these communal riots are always happening either in CPI(M) strong holds or in League strong holds only.
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