RSS and BJP offices and their members’ properties faced petro bomb attacks from Islamists following the nationwide arrest of key PFI leaders. Members of Hindu organisations also were targeted by Islamists with their vehicles set on fire. Nearly 20 incidents have been reported across the state, and police have arrested 15, including 2 SDPI members.
Even as widespread violence was reported from Kerala following the NIA ride on PFI, RSS, BJP and Hindu organisation members faced attacks from Islamists from September 24. Molotov cocktails and packets filled with petrol and diesel were thrown at the residences, properties and vehicles of BJP, RSS members and Hindu activists. The Commune Magazine reported 13 such attacks in Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul, Kanniyakumari and Chennai.
In one of the incidents, packets filled with petrol and diesel were thrown at the furniture shop of a BJP functionary in Erode, but fortunately, they didn’t catch fire. In Ramanathapuram, Islamists torched the car of a doctor, a BJP supporter, parked inside a hospital. In Tiruppur, Molotov cocktails were slung inside the house of a businessman after Islamists mistook it for the house of a BJP functionary. Apparently, a BJP functionary lived in the house for rent sometime before, and the property owner had to face the attack because of this distant connection.
In another incident, bottles filled with petrol were thrown at a bus owned by a BJP functionary in Thoothukudi. Fortunately, the bus moved away and the bottles alighted on the road saving the lives of 30 passengers. 2 shops, including a textile shop, of BJP functionaries were targeted in Coimbatore, where at least 10 attacks are reported to have happened. In their eagerness to harm RSS/BJP members, by targeting places like hospitals, shops and transport vehicles Islamists have jeopardised the safety of the public.
But the anti-BJP/RSS DMK government in Tamil Nadu doesn’t seem too worried about the law and order and safety of the public as only after repeated questioning from the BJP, were measures taken to arrest the perpetrators. A heavy police force has been deployed in Coimbatore, which faced the most number of attacks, and checkpoints have been increased to avert more such incidents. Police have also asked petrol bunks not to sell fuel to those who ask to fill it in bottles. This decision faced flak from netizens as it wouldn’t stop a jihadi from filling the tank and using it to make Molotov cocktails.
Reports have emerged that 15 individuals have been arrested across the state so far. Syed Ali (42), Salem district president of SDPI, in connection with the attack on the residence of RSS Salem town functionary, V.K. Rajan’s residence. The police took action following CCTV visuals showed the accused hurling kerosene-filled bottle at Rajan’s house at 1.40 am on Sunday. K. Khadeer Hussain, ward president of SDPI in Salem, was the other arrested in the case. Both were presented before the magistrate and remanded to judicial custody.
4 SDPI functionaries, Sadam Hussain, Khalil Rahman, A. Jaffar, and A. Ashik, were arrested in connection with the attack on the furniture shop of an RSS worker in Erode. Jesu Raj and Illiyas, who are also members of SDPI, have been arrested in Coimbatore in connection with two attacks on a Hindu Munnani activist and a BJP member. They set the former’s car on fire and hurled bottles filled with kerosene at the latter’s residence. Coimbatore district’s intelligence chief has been removed following the intelligence failure.
Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai has written to Home Minister Amit Shah briefing him about the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and sought action. It remains to be seen whether any action will be taken in case the attacks continue or cadres are asked to be ready to spill blood like cadres in Kerala and West Bengal.