Friday, April 12, 2024

Kerala police label protesting Congress leaders ‘terrorists’; ‘Cos they are Muslims?’ asks Congress

Kerala police label protesting Congress leaders 'terrorists'

In a controversial move, Kerala Police informed a local court in a remand report that it is speculating ‘terrorist links’ of the Muslim leaders of Congress party who protested demanding state accountability on the suicide of a 21-year-old Mofiya Parveen allegedly after she complained of domestic violence at the hands of her husband.

In a series of protests, Youth Congress members had demanded the state government to take action against a police inspector CL Sudhir who was named in the suicide note of Mofiya.

The remand report, prepared by Aluva East police station grade sub-inspector Rajesh and sub-inspector Vinod Kumar, said that the accused Congress leaders Al Ameen Ashraf, Anas, and Najeeb could not be allowed bail as the Kerala Police had to investigate that the accused had any sort of connection with a terrorist outfit.

Following the outrage against Kerala police and Home Department, Thiruvananthapuram DIG suspended Aluva SI Vinod and grade SI Rajesh for framing the remand report in a communally prejudiced way.

Three Congress leaders were arrested on 25 November at midnight in connection with the Youth Congress protest organised on the same day. The Youth Congress protest turned violent as they blocked DIG’s car and caused damage. The party workers reportedly hoisted the party flag atop the police water cannon and pelted stones at the police and a police vehicle, according to the remand report.

Aluva police charged cases against 12 Congress workers and 500 unidentified members on charges including the pandemic act and destruction of public property. The police booked the Congress leaders under sections 143, 144, 145,147, 148,332, 353, 283, and 149 of the Indian Penal Code.

However, this is the first time Kerala Police is accusing an Opposition party’s protest of having links with terrorist outfits. Many Congress leaders openly criticised the Kerala Police’s anti-Muslim prejudice and accused the government’s role to malign the Opposition’s dissent.

“Your (Kerala Police) communal hatred in branding anyone with a Muslim name a terrorist will not work with us. This is Kerala,  not Gujarat. You are getting your salary, not from the Nagpur RSS headquarters. You will be corrected. We will make sure that you stand corrected,” Congress’s Kerala state chief K Sudhakaran MP said

“I don’t think only these two police officers were responsible for the remand report.  We suspect the involvement of top officials in this act. The government must take this issue seriously and do a detailed inquiry,” Aluva MLA and Congress leader Anwar Sadath told Maktoob.

The Aluva MLA wrote a letter to the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan demanding action against the police officers.

“Filing a report which accuses Congress members as terrorists and submitting it to the court is a serious and criminal offense which doesn’t suit with the goodwill of Kerala Police. It will be an insult to the Kerala Police itself. We doubt that there is a deliberate attempt to malign the Congress workers who are involved in the democratic struggle demanding justice for Mofiya. The government must clarify that whether they are justifying the police’s action,” the letter states.

The letter also equated Kerala Police to Yogi Adityanath’s communally prejudiced UP Police and quoted CPI tall leaders Annie Raja’s and D Raja’s comment on the RSS intrusion in the Kerala Police force.

The Chief Minister forwarded the letter to the Kerala DGP.

Congress Party leader Anoop VR took it to Facebook and satirically said that there is a necessity for even the Muslim leaders of the ruling CPI(I)M to apply for a non-terrorist certificate at the nearest Sangh Parivar office.

“This is not an isolated incident but the continuity of the pro- Sangh approach of the Kerala Police. The three arrested Congress workers are Muslims. The Aluva MLA Anwar Sadath who initiated the protest is also a Muslim. Ernakulam DCC president is  Muhammed Shiyas, another Muslim. So these are the evidence for Kerala Police to suspect terrorist links. A political protest organised by Muslim leaders is painted as a terrorist act.  We have examples of such fabricated cases in UP and other parts of North India. Now it is becoming evident in Kerala too,” Anoop VR told Maktoob.

However, an officer from the Aluva east police station responded that such a statement was included in the remand report as there is huge destruction of public property in the protest march. “DIG’s vehicle and Kerala police’s water cannon were destroyed in the protest march. They had even uploaded photos standing atop the Varun water cannon,” the officer said.  

Surprisingly, this is not the first time public property was destroyed during a political march. The majority of the political strikes bear the history of public property getting destroyed. Asked about it, the officer refused to comment more on this issue.

Maktoob tried to contact the suspended Aluva east police station SI Vinod Kumar and Aluva Rural SP Karthik to know about the reason behind the suspected terrorist links but both of them did not answer the call. The story will be updated once they respond.

21-year-old Mofiya Parveen was found hanging at her home in Aluva near Kochi on 23 November. In her suicide note, she blamed her husband Muhammed Suhail, in-laws, and Aluva East circle inspector CL Sudhir as responsible for her death. Mofiya claimed in her suicide note that the CL Sudhir had threatened and insulted her during a compromising talk following a domestic violence complaint filed by Mofiya against her husband and inlaws.

The circle inspector was later suspended by the DGP, following huge outrage from Opposition parties. The order came on the third day of the Congress party’s protest.

Ashfaque EJ
Ashfaque EJ
Ashfaque EJ is an independent journalist from Kerala.
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