Protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 is taking a different dimension in Kerala with the protesters, especially those with connection to separatist and extremist elements, either seeking funds from industrialists or collecting them from people.
During the weekend, Malayalam daily Mangalam that a non-resident Indian (NRI) industrialist got a letter from a terrorist organisation demanding a huge sum as a donation. The letter of extortion had come from a village in north India.
The organisation demanded “crores of rupees” for its “mission in India”. The letter said that many prominent industrialists in Kerala have donated them huge sums secretly.
The organisation threatened the industrialist that he could face trouble in future if he did not comply. It seemed to have made its intentions clear by hacking his website.
The Police have filed a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and have begun investigations. The Anti-Terrorist Squad of the State police has also launched a probe through its intelligence wing.
These activities have come at a stage when the anti-CAA protests are losing steam across Kerala.
Even within Kerala, the anti-CAA camp is divided between those led by the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF), headed by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), and those led by the United Democratic Front (UDF), headed by the Congress.
Muslim organisations, including the Muslim League, are part of the UDF camp. The problem for the LDF is that it has to show that it is not supporting the Union Government’s law of CAA, while it cannot also be seen as being laid back in tackling anti-CAA protests since it is accountable for any law and order problem.
Political observers say that the anti-CAA protests in Kerala have turned into a fight for Muslim votes between the CPM and Congress.
Muslims make up 26 per cent of Kerala’s population, according to the 2011 Census. Christians make up 19 per cent and Hindus the rest.
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