News Brief

‘We Will Take You Down With Us’: Leader Of Islamist Outfit In Kerala Threatens Violence In Anti-CAA Protest

A rally organised by Kerala-based Popular Front of India.

Even as Kerala’s ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) headed by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) is opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, it has turned a blind eye to provocative statements being made by some elements in the state.

In particular, Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) are using this opportunity to instigate Muslims in Kerala that border on violence.

These fronts are criticising issues right from the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi controversy to the CAA 2019.

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Some of the speeches made by SDPI leaders talk of how Muslims will determine who needs to fear who or they would not cooperate in ensuing peace in the country.

In particular, the recent speech by SDPI national president and founder M K Faizy at a 'Justice' rally in Kozhikode to protest the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi ruling is worrisome. (Swarajya has a video clipping of this)

Referring to Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in Parliament that Muslim citizens need not fear CAA, Faizy said that Muslms “will have to tell you if you need to be afraid (of us) or not”.

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Misleading those who had attended the meeting that the CAA would be used to expel Muslims from the country, SDPI leader said: “Today, it is Muslims, tomorrow some other, then atheists and Communists.”

He warned that Indians cannot live in peace without "the cooperation and approval" of Muslims.

Declaring that PFI and SDPI were not afraid of the Centre, he said: “if you agree, we all can live together. If you try to send us out, then we will take you down with us.”

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The statement that “we will take you with us” is a clear warning that the organisation could unleash violence if it is read with his uttering that "all that we have said from the beginning are happening".

“We are a group of people who have thought about all these things and have entered the arena taking all factors into consideration,” Faizy said.

“We have nothing to fear. We don’t have anything above us or below. You are saying our citizenship will come to an end. You have questioned our affection, our faith and our existence,” he alleged.

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“When you say our citizenship will end, why should we be afraid. Why should we live in fear what loss we will face? We will not yield at any point of time?" the SDPI leader said.

Pointing out the unrest in North-East, he said: “ministers and MLAs who made laws to expel Muslims are now living in army camps. How long will they live in army camps? We will tell you whether you need to fear us or not?”

The SDPI was established as a political arm of the PFI, which is an extremist organisation. The PFI was founded in 2006 as a cover for the National Development Front (NDF) that was created in 1993 to protect the interests of Muslims.

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The PFI was formed merging NDF with organisations such as Karnataka’s Forum for Dignity and Tamil Nadu’s Manitha Neethi Paasarai. Besides, a few other bodies in Bengal, Goa, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh also merged with PFI.

Despite so many bodies forming PFI, the organisation is very active in Kerala. PFI leaders are also linked with the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

The Intelligence Bureau has reported to the Centre that PFI has been promoting jihad and it preaches violence against right-wing activists. In Kerala, PFI has attacked many people, including a professor at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala for his remarks in a question paper for his students.

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The PFI has also been involved in violence in neighbouring Karnataka, especially in the Mangaluru region. The Jharkhand government has banned PFI.

The Kerala government has opposed any ban on PFI or its arms such as SIMI with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan countering that if any organisation deserves to be banned then the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has to be barred first.

SDPI, formed in 2009, has been accused of conducting arms training in parts of Kerala.

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SDPI was in the news in Tamil Nadu early this year when its activists murdered a Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) cadre for questioning conversion of Hindus to Islam.

The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, formed by expelled All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dinakaran, had formed an alliance with SDPI in the Lok Sabha elections held in May.

In another related development, Muslim Educational Society president Fazal Gafoor told a conference that Muslims had a golden opportunity in the current situation as they have good strength in some states.

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“In Kerala, Muslims make up 26 per cent of the population. The CPI-M has come to power with 32 per cent of the popular votes. If Muslims can form an alliance with a caste-based party, we can come to power defeating all national parties,” he said.

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