Kottayam Superintendent of Police (SP) K Karthik’s report suspecting terrorism in Erattupetta is now at the center of a controversy. The argument is related to the report given by the SP regarding the transfer of the land of Erattupetta Police Station to the Revenue Department. SP’s report mentions that terrorism exists in Erattupetta.
There are 2.75 acres of government land around Eratupetta Police Station. The government had proposed to hand over the land to construct a revenue tower (Mini Civil Station). Earlier, local MLA Sebastian Kulathungal requested Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to transfer 50 cents of land for this purpose. The local police informed the region is a ‘sensitive area.’
Last December, Kottayam SP Karthik gave a report to the DGP objecting to this move. According to the report, this space is needed to store the vehicles seized in cases, build police quarters, and an anti-terrorist training center. Karthik also mentioned that terrorist and religious problems exist in Erattupetta.
Congress and Leftists now oppose this report and have also come out against the SP. Both outfits attempt to create communal strife for political gains by distorting Karthik’s report. It is Karthik’s acknowledgment of terrorism that has triggered both political outfits.
Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) District Treasurer Harif filed a complaint with Poonjaar MLA Kulathungal demanding action against Karthik. SDPI is the political wing of the now-banned terrorist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).
Strangely claiming that Erattupetta was portrayed badly, Kulathungal and SDPI leaders said they would meet the Chief Minister and file a complaint against Karthik. Kulathungal represents Kerala Congress (Mani) and has been part of the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) since October 2020.
Anto Anthony, Pathanamthitta Congress Member of Parliament (MP), parroted the LDF MLA’s accusations. (Erattupetta borders Kottayam and Pathanamthitta) He claimed Karthik’s report opposed handing over the land and insulted those living in Erattupetta. Anthony asserted the government and police authorities must release documents to substantiate the ‘false’ report (on terror links). He also wanted ‘strict action’ against the Kottayam SP.
There is no reference to any religious group in the report. As per the 2011 census, Erattupetta has a 75% Muslim population, while Christians account for 15%. While Christian missionaries targeted the Brahmins, the Islamist conversion mafia preyed on all Hindus in this region centuries ago.
Radical Islamists demand that the Home Department intervene to correct some of the sentences in the SP’s report. They claim there is a possibility that they will be misinterpreted. If the controversial remarks are not withdrawn, they have decided to protest.
An all-party meeting held in Erattupetta Municipal Council also demanded the withdrawal of the District Police Chief’s report. Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) Chairperson Suhara Abdul Khader presided over the meeting, and MLA Kulatungal, CPM, CPI, IUML, SDPI regional leaders, and others participated. They claimed that Erattupetta, populated by religious minorities, has the lowest number of cases registered in the Kottayam district.
Erattupetta was featured in a list of villages and towns with terrorist presence in Kerala released by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Most problem polling booths in the district in any elections are in Erattupetta. Amid reports that terror sleeper cells have stepped up their activities in Kerala, the Intelligence Agencies have stepped up surveillance, including in Erattupetta.
Recently, in the raid, as part of intensifying action against the Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders, the municipal councilor of Eratupetta was included. Earlier this year, HinduPost reported how Congress and IUML councilors supported Ansary EP, an SDPI councilor NIA arrested in Erattupetta municipality. Erattupetta is a terror hub that has contributed to terrorists, not just locally but also on a national level.
Janmabhumi reminded us that the NIA arrested two terror accused and three others by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from Erattupetta a few months ago. This is the region that UDF-LDF leaders say is an area with few cases. They are protesting against the Kottayam SP even though none of those arrested have been released.
BJP wants Union Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene in the Kottayam District Police Chief’s report on the terrorist activities in Erattupetta. BJP Central Region President N. Hari sent a letter requesting the same. Hari mentioned that central forces should be deployed where needed. Necessary advance precautions should be taken as required in the SP report.
The BJP leader alleged that after the PFI ban, radical Islamist PFI workers joined other political parties to continue their terrorist activities. Hari sought the central government’s intervention to prevent this disturbing trend.
SP Karthik has maintained his composure and has not publicly responded to these allegations. It is believed that the police officer will be transferred pretty soon. Many believe that the state’s response favors terrorism.