The Siddaramaih Government in Karnataka has chuckled in silence while many peaceful districts in Karnataka are being converted into Jihadi playground. The Hindus are being persecuted for just ‘Being Hindu’
The coastline of Karnataka comprises three gorgeous districts. Dakshina Kannada is to the South, which adjoins Kerala. Uttara Kannada is to the North, adjoining Goa and Udupi in between. For centuries, Areca nut cultivation and Fishing has been the prime occupation and the backbone of coastal economy; as all three districts share similar climatic conditions. The inherent traditional practices could also be found to be almost similar in nature. The natives of the region are known for their staunch ‘Desh’ and ‘Dharma’ Bhakti while entrepreneurship and Integral Humanist practices are embedded in their DNA.
These districts combined account to more than a thousand historical Temples out of which most of them are at least half a millennium old. Temple and related Dharmic economy of the region itself is estimated to be exceeding Rs 1,000 crore each year. It’s already been eight decades since five of the leading Indian Banks started their operations in this region. The region is also known for its topnotch Healthcare and Educational institutions where the combined production of graduates each year exceeds 50,000.
Despite such remarkable features, the region today has turned out to become a dangerous place to live as it is being badly stung by Islamist fundamentalism and to worsen the scenario, the State Government has not been acting against the Jihadis but in return has been behind the screens supporting their inhumane deeds.
For the past one decade the region has witnessed massive growth in Islamic terror activities. It has not only evolved on to become a grooming ground but also a safe hiding bunker for terrorists. Bhatkal of Uttara Kannada and Ullal of Dakshina Kannada, in particular, with its 75per cent plus Muslim population are fertile grounds for fundamentalism. They serve as the epicenters of terror activities. The duo of Riyaz and Yasin, the notorious Bhatkal brothers, hail from Bhatkal in this region. They are the ones who were involved in several terrorist activities and bombings across the nation. They were also the founding members of the now banned Terrorist organisation Indian Mujahideen.
Shafi Armar, who is assumed to have been killed in an US air strike in Syria was a key ISIS recruiter. He also hailed from Bhatkal. Apart from these instances several others have occurred in and around the town of Ullal, where the concerned authorities have seized massive detonators, explosives and have made multiple detentions suspecting terror related activities. Recently, a renowned Muslim cleric Ismail Shafi, chief of Canara Salafi movement, had released an audio message asserting that a group of youth who usually wear black or brown pajamas and wear a cap or turban on their heads like ISIS, under the strong influence of ‘Salafi Dammaj’, a terrorist principle, are active in Dakshina Kannada. They are trying to lure Muslim youths in large scale. He had also stated that a mosque in Bantwal of Dakshina Kannada is dedicated to this group. However, the recent history of the region acknowledges the fact that the inclining episodes of communal violence across the coast cannot be type-casted as just another Hindu-Muslim conflict but is a strong indicator of the intense force of Jihadi terrorism that has deepened its roots.
The demography of the coastal region is highly imbalanced in comparison to the rest of Karnataka and is very much similar to that of Kerala. Hence, the influence of Islamic Fundamentalist organisations such as, Popular Front of India (PFI) headquartered in the nearby Kerala upon the coast is generally very high and has rapidly spread its roots. PFI is an umbrella organisation of several fundamentalist outfits like the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), etc.
PFI was formed in 2006 by the merger of three state level Islamic organisations, namely, National Development Front, Karnataka Forum for Dignity and Manitha Neethi Pasarai which were then operating in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu respectively. In Kerala, PFI is very freely indulging in anti-Hindu and anti-National activities, killing of Hindu leaders, recruitment and supply of radicalised youth to foreign Islamic organisations, forcible religious conversions, like Love-jihad and more. A recent sting operation upon the National president of the PFI women’s wing had exposed PFI’s role in luring non-Muslim girls and women into the web of Conversion through Love Jihad and getting them enrolled into the conversion institutes like Sathyasarani Islamic Dawah where they would undergo rigorous Islamic training.
Kannur police had also recently raided a weapons training centre run by the PFI and had seized bombs, swords, human-shaped wooden targets, ingredients for making crude IEDs such as gun powder and iron nails etc. The left led Kerala government, in January had filed an affidavit to the High court of Kerala stating that most of the members of PFI were earlier active members of the now Banned terrorist outfits SIMI and Indian Mujahedeen. It also asserted in the document that PFI received huge funds through ‘India Fraternity Forum’, their counterpart in the Gulf Countries for implementing the violent Islamist propaganda. Barbaric Killings and atrocity upon Hindus has disastrously turned out to have become a new norm in Kerala, disastrously the ongoing Hindu killings in the Coastal Karnataka also share similar brutality, style, background and script; most of those who are accused uptil now are the active workers of either PFI or SDPI Karnataka chapters.
Ever since Siddaramaih took over as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, the vandalism and hooliganism of the Islamists is consistently on the rise. Twenty three Hindu activists from Karnataka who were oriented towards nationalist ideologies were killed for nothing but ideological differences. Moreover, there are hundreds of cow theft reports all across the coast and few incidents out of these are so terrifying. The smugglers are found to have arrived with swords and have threatened the households stating that they have ‘their government in power’ before taking away their cattle.
Prashanth Poojary was one such brave youth from Moodabidre of Dakshina Kannada who was very much associated in the activity of cow protection. He had reportedly saved more than a couple of hundred cows on several occasions from the clutches of Cow-Smugglers by notifying and following up with the authorities. These incidents had made his name enter the hit list of the Jihadis. A group of Jihadis who were planning to eliminate him sighted an opportunity, attacked him with choppers while shouting Islamic slogans and brutally killed him. Another Hindu activist, Raja Kotian was murdered in Ullal. He was a prominent member of the Mogaveera (Fisherman) community.
Sharath Madival was another innocent victim. He was a young swayamsevak who was very actively involved in numerous Dharmic and social activities. He was a resident of Bantwal Taluk from Dakshina Kannada and was jointly operating a laundry nearby with his father. Though, he was immediately shifted to the hospital, the impact of assault by Jihadis was so severe that he could not survive the treatment and passed away. However, the news was hidden from the mainstream media as the Chief Minister Siddaramaih was scheduled to attend a prefixed party programme in the locality the following day and as he assumed that the report of his death would disturb the event. Deepak Rao was another victim who was killed for being a nationalist. He was a resident of Surathkal in Dakshina Kannada and was the only earning son of his mother. Apart from his family commitments, Deepak was always found engaged with Several Social and Dharmic programs and in addition to that he was also an active BJP worker and was also appointed as the Social Media coordinator of the local Committee. A few days prior to the gruesome incident of his murder, Deepak had reportedly shot a video of the Local jihadis hailing Pakistan who were simultaneously destroying the publicity banners featuring Nationalist sentiments. As this was noticed by the Jihadis, they had threatened him to delete it or, to face his deletion from the planet. In a couple of days, after that warning he was brutally chopped off under the broad daylight.
The lives of Hindus not only in the coastal region but across the state are at stake under Siddaramaih. The State government has not only indulged in protecting the murderers but has also withdrawn nearly 200 other cases which were filed against the PFI and SDPI activists across various districts. As a result nearly 1,700 criminals, who were booked for rioting, instigating communal violence, shouting anti-India slogans, destroying Hindu places of worship, derogating Hindu Gods & Goddesses, are roaming freely thumping their chests. As the state election is scheduled in couple of months and as Muslim votes are decisive at most of the Coastal Assembly constituencies, the congress government intends to fish in the troubled waters by choosing to be on an extensive appeasement mode.
To concoct massive awareness about the brutality, with a demand of banning PFI and affiliated terror outfits and to hand over all the lynching cases of the Hindu activists to the NIA, BJP Karnataka had organized a colossal Janasuraksha Yatra covering the entire Coast from March 2-6, The yatra became prodigiously successful with not only lakhs of people participating but also the family members of the victims. It has sent a clear signal to the state that the blood stains at the coast shall be washed away by the waves of harmony.
(The writer is a Dakshina Kannada based columnist)