On Sunday, a Christian man named Shaji M Varghese was attacked by Islamic fundamentalists alleging the sale of ‘non-halal meat’. They allegedly tried to force down raw meat into his mouth, threw his meat product around, and later set his lorry ablaze.
The attack started in Wayanad district represented by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, and ended with the lorry being burnt in neighbouring Kannur district, home district of CM Pinarayi Vijayan. Both districts fall in North Kerala or Malabar region, a hub of Islamist radicals.
An almost complete mainstream media blackout of the incident assures collusion to hush up the intimidation and threats of violence being perpetrated by Islamists and their Halal certificate sponsors. They have found fertile soil for their propaganda and have made a few districts in the state their hide-out.
The distraught driver said that he could not fulfill his customer’s orders and more importantly fearing for his life, he had to flee from Wayanad.
The Muslim radicals waylaid Shaji at Meenangadi alleging that he did not have ‘Halal Certification’, got into his vehicle, and threw away the meat. Their ire then turned towards Shaji who was attacked with a piece of meat that the assailants tried to thrust down his throat. Even though he escaped, the vehicle has been charred beyond value.
A company called Kissan Mithra, a collective of over 6000 farmers headed by eminent personalities with rich experience in farming and dairy, had earlier taken orders for 6500 kgs of non-halal meat to be supplied on Easter day. They had openly advertised that they will supply only non-halal meat to customers.
Kissan Mithra had found the need for a fresh meat supply since a Halal monopoly had led to a dip in quality of meat being sold all over the state. Also, halal slaughter is considered more cruel, with some studies showing this type of meat is more unhealthy due to elevated levels of stress hormones in the animal’s last moments. Moreover, many communities are required to consume non-halal i.e. jhataka meat as per their religious practices.
After the news spread, a person named Manoj Cherian, the main coordinator of Kissan Mithra from Kozhikode faced death threats. Bike-borne riders approached Manoj asking him not to sell non-halal meat and also objected to delivering beef and pork in the same vehicle. Manoj had accepted the orders and the vehicle used to transport the meat too belonged to him. Shaji was just delivering the same when the incident occurred. These point to conspiracy and a pre-planned attack.
Shockingly, the local police instead of registering a case and inquiring, insulted the complainants. This is what Shaji had to say “I do not expect justice in this case. I just needed an official complaint to be lodged that such an incident has taken place at Meenangadi in Kerala. That the whole justice system including the police station shows reluctance in even registering a case of this manner is shocking.”
He also alleged that the police tried to in fact mislead witnesses into parroting a version that Shaji the driver consumed alcohol and tried to shove the meat down his own throat!
The depth of the Islamic network and the sheer scale of operations became evident when the lorry in which Shaji was selling meat was first waylaid near Meenangadi in Wayanad and ultimately his vehicle was burned down near Kanichar in Kannur district, more than 75 kms away.
Shaji had orders for the meat (probably from Christian and Hindu meat shop owners) for the Christian festival of Easter. Both the Christian and the Hindu communities of Kerala have woken up to the Halal mafia which has gradually pushed non-Muslims out of the meat business, and which is known to divert a portion of funds collected for Halal certification by Muslim clerics towards violent extremism. They have since started switching to the traditional way of Jhataka slaughter.
The support and orders that Kissan Mithra received for their non-halal meat infuriated the Islamic radicals and they have now started to resort to violent means to try and save their extortionist levies.
Their actions did bear fruit since many non-Muslim meat shops closed fearing such retaliations. Most meat shops are owned by Muslims and this does not auger well for the small portion of meat sellers in the state who are either Christian or Hindu. Members of Kissan Mithra too are living in fear after this incident. This violence led to them having to stop the sale of their meat in six districts of Kerala where they had promised delivery. Threats continue.
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