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Friday, January 21, 2022

Islamists allege blasphemy and murderously assault ST Hindu man in Kerala – shades of Prof. Joseph case

Islamic fundamentalists have struck again in Kerala, this time in Thodupuzha of Idukki district. Popular Front of India (PFI) goons attacked Manusudhan, an ST (Scheduled Tribe) Hindu government employee, in front of his children in broad daylight and he escaped death by a whisker. Other than Janam TV, the rest of Kerala’s mainstream media shunned reporting the incident that happened over alleged blasphemy. 

Manusudhan alias Manoj is a bus conductor employed by the state-owned Kerala State Road Transport Company (KSRTC) depot in Aluva near Ernakulam. On the morning of December 3, he was traveling to Thodupuzha in a KSRTC bus and was accompanied by his children, boys aged 11 and 12. It was his off-day and they were on their way to buy new clothes for the kid’s upcoming birthdays.  

When the bus reached Vannapuram, two strangers asked Manusudhan to get out of the bus to ‘talk.’ The way they were dressed made Manu suspicious and he declined to alight. Meanwhile, another stranger boarded and started watching Manu and his children closely. 

That stranger started receiving numerous calls on his mobile and Manu’s children heard him say, “No, don’t be afraid, the man is still here, he’s not going anywhere.” Manu and his children forgot about the incident and they fell asleep after some time. 

The spotter’s intention became clear when the bus reached Mangattukavala. Around 150 PFI workers who were waiting in front of the Mughal hotel, waylaid the bus. Attached to the hotel is a mosque, and Manu said that the hotel is owned by a known SDPI (political arm of PFI) agent. 

Professor T J Joseph and Newman College

Mangattukavala is barely walking distance from Newman College, Thodupuzha. Professor T J Joseph who was accused of blasphemy by Islamists was a Professor of Newman College. On 4th July 2010, his vehicle was waylaid by 8 PFI workers.  

The prof was accompanied by his sister Stella and his mother. The Muslim mob who were armed with swords and knives smashed the windscreen of Joseph’s car and pulled him out of the vehicle. They stabbed him in his left thigh and they chopped off his right hand. When the ladies tried to stop the assault, the attackers hit them, exploded crude bombs and escaped.

The pre-planned attack on Manusudhan

7 to 8 skull cap-wearing Islamists barged into the bus. The spotter pointed out Manu to the Muslim mob, alighted the bus and soon disappeared. To create confusion, the ones who boarded shouted that Manu was a pickpocket. This silenced the passengers including women and the attackers joined together and Manu was violently beaten. 

Manu’s elder son tried to protect his father but was also assaulted and both the frightened children started to cry. Except for one man who was constantly exhorting the attackers to stop, others got down and allowed more attackers to board and continue the murderous assault.

What began as an assault on a ‘pickpocket’ soon changed and the Islamists showed their true colors. The Muslim mob told Manu that this is what happens when someone opposes the Muslims and the PFI. Co-passengers noticed this, smelled danger and shouted for help. 

A police officer on traffic duty intervened and came running into the bus. He too was manhandled but he was able to take photos of some of the attackers. Manu said that this was an official named Anil Kumar and had he not intervened, he might have been killed. 

The assailants tried to drag Manu out of the bus and he noticed that they were carrying machetes. He managed to hang on and more people intervened against the mob lynching attempts of the Islamists. They started to back away slowly but told Manu that he was spared this time around since his children were with him. They promised him that the next time around he wouldn’t be lucky.

Manu was rushed to the Thodupuzha Taluk Hospital and later referred to Kottayam Medical College for a preliminary examination. He was then admitted to a private hospital nearby after a few friends of his intervened, where he underwent a scan. 

Police officers arrived at the casualty ward and recorded his statement. No arrests have been made till now, as per latest reports. Hotel Mughal has security cameras but neither that footage nor the ones that the traffic police officer took appear to have been analyzed and acted upon. 

A short history of PFI infiltration in state matters

Around a year ago, Manusudhan was associated with the Congress-affiliated TDF, a KSRTC workers union. Manu says that the PFI infiltration in the KSRTC is so deep that anyone who opposes their ideology is automatically chosen for revenge. They spread their pan-Islam discourse using WhatsApp and FaceBook groups and dissenters are removed from the group, immediately.

Manu used to react to extremist Islamist posts in the KSRTC official groups. The latest example is the reaction to what someone else shared in the group on creating an Islamic nation in Bharat. Manu replied that had it not been for the willpower of PM Narendra Modi, Islamists would have achieved their dream by now.

He also posted Malayalam translations of verses from the Quran that have not gone down well with the Islamists. They now allege him of ‘blasphemy’.  

Such reactions and his habit of calling out anti-nationals apparently made him the target of communal forces. Manu said that even though radical thoughts were being openly put forward by extremists, the local regime does nothing. He lost interest in remaining a member of the Union and he was expelled from the organization’s group. Recently Manu has become more sympathetic to Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) but he is not a member, as yet.

Highly literate Keralites who brushed aside the Prof. Joseph hand-chopping incident as an isolated event now know that their calculations have gone terribly wrong. Political murders are now carried out at will by the PFI with tacit assistance being provided by the ruling CPM regime. The Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League consider violent Islamists as a vote bank and are silent on the issue. 

This second incident of Islamist barbarity in Mangattukavala is part of a conscious effort to create communal divisions, sectarianism and ignite communalism. A dangerous precedent is taking shape in Kerala and Islamic extremism is now deeply entrenched in society. Not many leaders came forward to condemn the Islamist mob violence (alleging blasphemy) against a Dalit Hindu or offered him support.

The impunity with which Islamists operate in broad daylight in parts of Kerala also points to utter failure of our secular state and law enforcement authorities. Sharia laws are being implemented on the roads of Kerala today, just like in Pakistan or Afghanistan. 

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