The hartal called through social media in the name of protesting against the Kathua rape and murder, targetted Hindus at large and turned out to be violent in many parts of the state
In an unprecedented act of terror unleashed by various Jihadi outfits, many parts of Kerala came to a standstill in a hoax Hartal called through social media on April 16. Without any prior notice, Islamist outfits, urged the radicalised Muslim youth to take to the streets in protest against the rape and murder of the 8-year-old girl in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir. In a spate of violent attacks throughout the state, particularly in Northern Kerala and Malappuram, the rioters vandalised temples and attacked the RSS shakhas and the shops owned by the Hindus. The violent Muslim mobs also set ablaze several public transport vehicles and vandalised police vehicles. Despite the allegations of being inefficient, the state police booked scores of Islamic rioters including the workers of the Popular Front of India, Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim League, in connection with widespread violence and rioting.
Hindus targeted, Media threatened
The violence that broke out in various parts of the state, came to light when the victims who faced the violence and aggression, shared their experiences on social media. A resident of Malappuram told Organiser that the rioters targeted particularly Hindus. The rioting mob stopped his vehicle and forcefully stuck the posters seeking justice for the 8-year-old girl who was raped and killed in Kathua. To confirm the religious identity, the hooligans purportedly asked the names of the passengers.
The victims of the savage attacks allege that the state police turned out to be a mute spectator as Jihadis ran riots on streets. The worst part is that media both, the local and national, downplayed the violence and overlooked the gravity of damages caused by riots. The Police imposed curfew in the riot-hit regions but the Hindus allege that the curfew covers mainly Hindu-majority areas, and it was not intended to curb the violence against Hindus but to save the Muslims from a possible retaliation to the provocation.
While other media tried to brush the violence under the carpet, Janam TV was the only news channel which reported the violent incidents staged across the state. For the same reason, the channel received anonymous threatening calls for the media coverage of the riots. Against this backdrop, the Kerala Police DGP said the state police would beef up the security.
A temple in Changannassery, in the southern district of Kottayam, was vandalised with hate graffiti on Sunday. Unknown assailants smeared red paint on the wall of the temple, and wrote "Justice for ..... (the name of the Kathua victim)’ and hailed Islam. The local police have started a probe after the temple managing committee lodged a petition over the incident. Apart from the possibility of a Jihadi attack, sources told Organiser that it could be a Communist ploy to instigate communal violence in the southern part of Kerala too.
Since the LDF government took over in 2016, there has been a widely prevalent allegation that the CPM led Government gave a freehand to Jihadis to carry out their clandestine activities in the state and perpetrate attacks on Hindu leaders and organisations. To the dismay of public, several times the CPM government allowed the radical Islamic outfits like PFI to conduct rallies, which ended up challenging and intimidating the Hindus. The CPM hopes to tackle two of its major political adversaries the BJP and the Muslim League with the help of the Popular Front of India. The CPM’s dangerous tactics are aimed at deriving electoral gains after dividing Muslim votes by projecting the violent PFI, which is rather appealing to Islamic youth, as an alternative to the Muslim League, which holds a sway over Muslims in northern Kerala. A series of incidents of Love Jihad and abductions of Hindu-Christian girls have already created a panic and fear psychosis among the Hindu society. With the psychological and cyber attacks against Hindus turning physical, the Hindu population in the state is now grappling with a siege mentality and growing insecurity feeling.
Communist-Islamist axis instigated the riots through social media
Sources in the Special Branch of Kerala police told Organiser that there could be an orchestrated effort behind the communal riots. Extending moral support to the Jihadi elements, the workers of the CPM and its feeder organisations like SFI and DYFI have widely circulated the graphics, posters denigrating Hindu Gods, Shiv Linga and other Hindu religious and national symbols, for the last four days.
Adding fuel to the flame, some CPM ideologues and leaders were engaged in spreading Facebook posts demanding the genocide of Hindus who voted for BJP. The social media observers allege that the yesterday"s violence was a result of the warmongering of the communist-Islamist social media activists against the Hindus. Giving a communal colour to the Kathua incident, the state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a statement, had falsely alleged that the rape and murder of the 8-year-old Kashmiri girl took place in a temple. Deepak Shankaranarayanan, an engineer based in Bengaluru working for Hewlett Packard, held the Hindu voters of the BJP responsible for the brutal rape and murder of the Kathua victim and gave an open call to shoot down 31 per cent of Hindus! Deepa Nishant, a vociferous advocate of CPM on social media and a lecturer at Kerala Varma College, sharing the same view of Deepak, called to arms against the Hindu voters of the BJP and gun them down! Thomas Issac, the state Finance Minister, in a social media post, endorsed the Communist death-mongers, who are facing a probe over serious allegations of creating unrest in the society, and extended them all sorts of support. The BJP has officially moved a petition against those who instigated riots and called for the genocide of Hindus on the social media. Sensing the danger, CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, warned the CPM workers not to fall into the trap of ‘communal forces’ and abstain from the undeclared hartal.
The aftermath of the riots
The rioters halted services of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses in various parts in northern districts. The violent mob forcefully shut down almost all the shops in the region. Several shops and bakeries, owned by Hindus, were attacked and ransacked in Tanur, Malappuram district. Staging a large scale of violence, protest marches were held at Kondotty in Malappuram. A KSRTC bus was set on fire in Tanur. The hartal supporters have been closing the shops and disrupting traffic in Tanur since morning. Vehicles including KSRTC buses were blocked at Valluvambram, Kottakkal, and Thalappara. Two flights from Karipur Airport were delayed as the pilots could not reach there on time. Tyres were burnt on the roads and highways that obstructed the public transport. Lathi-charge took place in Tirur after the rioters unleashed violence on shops and vehicles. The rioters attacked the RSS shakhas in the various parts of the districts. More than 21 policemen were also severely injured in attacks in Tirur.
A KSRTC bus driver was injured after stones were pelted on the bus near Vidyanagar in Kasaragod. In Kannur, the Police resorted to lathi-charge on protesters as the protest marches escalated into riots. Not less than 15 protesters were taken into police custody in Kannur. Shops were forcefully shut down in various parts of Kozhikode. Vehicles were halted in Palakkad and Wayanad districts. Southern districts of Ernakulam and Alappuzha also witnessed protests on Monday. A protest march was held at Muvattupuzha. The Muslim youth wearing masks brought Mullkkal, Alappuzha to a standstill. A witness told Organiser that people were panicked and fled the scene as soon as the violent mob swamped the city centre. The police declared the curfew for one week in the station limits of Tirur, Tanur and Parappanangadi police stations where widespread riots took place.
According to an intelligence report, submitted to the state government, the widespread violence was carried out by the Islamic terrorist organisations. The international terrorist organisations like the ISIS also may have a hand in it. The intelligence report also points fingers at the inefficiency of the state police in tackling the violence. With yesterday’s widespread violence, it has become evident that the sleeper cells of Islamic terrorist organisations in the state have greater potential and could pose a serious threat to the public life at any time in the future. BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan would visit the riot-affected areas today. The Hindu Aikya Vedi alleged that what happened on Monday was well-orchestrated communal riots targeting Hindus in Malabar region. The Hindu Aikya Vedi has declared that it would observe Tuesday as protest day to express its solidarity with the victims of the jihadi violence.