An advertisement paying tribute to Imam Ali, a terrorist involved in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts and accused of plotting assassinations of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, in The Hindu’s Tamil daily has angered the social media.
Ali, a leader of the banned terrorist outfit Al-Ummah, was also the main accused in the 1993 bomb blasts at the RSS office in Chetput, Chennai that killed 13 people. Ali had also threatened to destroy Hindu temples such as the famous Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. The Hindu’s Frontline carried an article on October 2002 where they stated that he was allegedly trained by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and later by the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Ali died during an encounter in 2002 with the Bangalore City Police lead by then STF S P Ashok Kumar after evading police for more than six months. Ali had always managed to dodge the law, escaping each time the police tried to corner him.
The advertisement, put by the Indian National League Party (INLP), carried a quote that said: “ Your eyes may rest but never your dreams”. The social media felt outraged by the quote wondering if the INLP would realise his dreams of wiping out other faiths and their holy places.
In today's Tamil version of THE HINDU, he was no saint, was a prime suspect in plot to kill then Deputy PM LK Advani & Murali Manohar Joshi, was a member of a banned terror outfit Al Ummah, which carried out Coimbatore bomb blasts, this terrorist was killed in a police encounter! pic.twitter.com/kMLr7DLM5p— Ethirajan Srinivasan (@Ethirajans) October 4, 2018
The advertisements dubbed Ali “Shaheed” which in Arabic language means a Muslim martyr. The advertisement was a shock to social media users who saw this as a glorification of a terrorist responsible for the death of over 70 people.
The advertisement also had a photo of Raja Hussain who was convicted in the murder of Hindu Munnani leader Rajagopal and served 20 years imprisonment. He was recently recently from the prison. “Will The Hindu carry an obituary advertisement on Nathuram Godse or Osama bin Laden?” wondered a person on social media.