After a pregnant elephant’s death caused by explosives in Palakkad district in Kerala, BJP MP and former Union Minister Maneka Gandhi has said hostile comments against Malappuram district, claiming the incident occurred in Malappuram.
Maneka said that Malappuram is notorious for its criminal activities. Her comments were made while she was talking to ANI, a news agency, and through her official Twitter handle.
“Malappuram is known for its intense criminal activities specially with regards to animals. No action has ever been taken against a single poacher or wildlife killer, so they keep doing it. I can only suggest that you call/mail and ask for action”, she took to Twitter to respond to the reports of the elephant’s death.
Later, she repeated the same while talking to ANI.
Maneka also alleges that an elephant calf would soon die as it is being tortured in Koodalmanikyam Temple in Thrissur district.
She portrayed Malappuram as “India’s most violent district” right after her allegations against incidents in Palakkad and Thrissur districts.
Incident occurred in Palakkad, not in Malappuram
According to forest officials, the wild elephant had left the forests of the Silent Valley in Palakkad district and wandered into the nearby village in search of food where she found the pineapple. The explosion left her in searing pain as she was unable to eat or walk properly, because of her injuries. The elephant eventually died standing in a river.
After pointing about the incident in the Palakkad district, Maneka, who is also an animal rights activist alleged that Malappuram, a district with a majority of Muslims, is India’s most violent district.
News agency ANI, ND TV, Times Now, Republic TV, Zee News, India TV, Dainik Jagaran, Hindustan Times, News18, First Post, and many Hindi and English media carried the same and reported that the incident happened in Malappuram district.
Thousands of BJP twitter handles are spreading Islamophobia under this tweet of Maneka.
Many handles shared the demography data of Malappuram district which shows Muslims are a majority in the population in the district.
“Muslims in Kerala killing elephants. They are jealous of elephants now. Shame, Malappuram jihadi ISIS,” tweeted a Twitter handle named SUMIT FOR YOU which has more than one lakh followers.
Mankea targets Muslims: Criticisms
“First of all, this unfortunate incident took place at Mannarkkad, Palakkad, and not in Malappuram. The demographic features of Malappuram, Muslim majority in population to be specific, is vulnerable to xenophobic, Islamophobic remarks, rants, and propaganda till it’s inception. When Maneka Gandhi, without a bit of shame and sense, propagates absolute blunders in a convenient way and in a convincing context, the already vulnerable geography is further criminalized,” Afeef Ahmed, a student from Kerala took to Facebook to criticize BJP veteran leader.
“Maneka Gandhi has deliberately cited Malappuram, a Muslim majority district, and now it’s been changed into a communal issue,” Asheem PK, a journalist said in his tweet.