In a bid to recover losses allegedly incurred during the Popular Front of India (PFI) hartal against NIA raids on 23 September 2022, the Kerala government has attached the properties of 238 Muslims across Kerala. The properties include houses, shops, and offices.
This comes after the Kerala high court division bench had directed the state government to recover the property of the Popular Front of India leaders and workers who were charge-sheeted in the destruction of public property during a hartal announced by the outfit last year. The state government has valued the losses from the violence during the PFI hartal at Rs 5.20 crore.
“Properties of 238 PFI leaders and workers were attached across Kerala,” the Kerala government informed the Kerala High Court on Monday. From the Malappuram district alone, the properties of 126 families were attached.
The properties are seized under Section 36 of the Kerala Revenue Recovery Act by issuing recovery notices. Later, once the value of houses and lands are determined, the properties will be auctioned.
The Muslim groups in Kerala called the move “selective.”
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Kerala head MI Abdul Azeez described the recent state-wide confiscation as an “injustice.”
“The discriminatory move is not a sign of a healthy democracy or the rule of law, said Samastha Kerala Jemiyyathul Ulama leader Sathar panthaloor.
According to Razak Paleri, Kerala unit president of Welfare Party India, the Kerala High Court order to attach properties of PFI leaders even without issuing notices is a discriminatory order.
“Actions similar to the anti-Muslim discrimination of the UP government, which seized the properties of anti-CAA protesters, and the BJP governments of UP, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and the Delhi Municipal Corporation, which implemented bulldozer raj, are now taking place in Kerala on the orders of the High Court,” Paleri said.
Solidarity Youth Movement also criticized the Kerala HC order, calling it “selective targeting.”
“State-wide confiscation of properties to compensate for the losses during the Hartal is discriminatory. You cannot find such a massive attachment of properties in the years-long history of Kerala hartals. What happens in Kerala is a milder version of what happened in UP, MP, and Jahangirpuri. To selectively target Muslim assets and properties. There it is, bulldozing; here it is, confiscation,” said Shamseer Ibrahim, national president of the Fraternity Movement.
“Bulldozing Muslim properties is a new normal in India now. More than 200 properties of PFI leaders, including houses, were attached following an HC order in Kerala. The Kerala government‘s massive confiscation of properties of PFI leaders is a targeting attack against Muslim resistance. Condemn!” tweeted Muhammed Saeed TK, Kerala unit president of Students Islamic Organisation, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
Muslim League state general secretary, P.M.A. Salam, while speaking to the media persons in Malappuram, said, “The Kerala revenue department officials have pasted the notice of revenue recovery on the residence of our leader. This is deliberate, and we will take this issue up in the Kerala Assembly.”
Meanwhile, Many alleged that the authorities attached the properties of several Muslim families who were not linked with the PFI hartal.
The state government has issued a notice to the family of a PFI activist who Hindutva groups killed five months before the hartal.
On Monday, the Revenue Recovery Office, Palakkad, pasted an attachment notice on A Subair’s house, which was murdered on April 15 last year — at Elappully in Palakkad. The family of five, including Subair’s elderly parents, wife, and three children, live in a small house on five cents. They have been asked to pay up within 15 days or lose their property as part of the recovery process.