Rapidly rising corona cases forced the Kerala government to declare a total lockdown on Sunday. An Islamist mother and son duo used the day to unleash a vile hate campaign against Kerala police.
Afsal Maniyil and his mother drove 70 km from their home to Oachira to pick up his sister who studies at a college nearby and lives in the college hostel. When police prevented them from entering a part of town, they accused the police of fascism. The unfortunate incident was reported from the highly sensitive Kollam district in Kerala.
Afsal claimed that they were let off unquestioned at 7 checkpoints but the Oachira SHO asked them to turn back. Circle inspector Vinod P understood that it was not an emergency and that is why he demanded that they return. The girl could have stayed a few more hours and they could have picked her up on Monday since the hostel had no plans to shut down immediately. She was safe there.
Lakhs of families have remained separated from their families due to the lockdown but no one has had the arrogance to abuse the authorities – people understand that police and health workers are just doing their job in a once-in-100-years pandemic. But not only did Afsal and his mother refuse to go back, they also used their political influence and went ahead and picked up his sister.
The mother accused that it was her purdah that was the real issue! Afsal said that he looked at the officer’s nameplate and understood that Vinod P was a ‘Sanghi!’ The family refused to leave and uploaded photos and videos of the police doing their duty. His Facebook post was under the heading “We met a Sanghi Kerala police officer.” Other Islamists took it from there and in no time it became viral.
The police officer confirmed that the lady accused him of communalism. She said that those wearing a Vibuthi were being allowed to pass and said that they were denied entry because of her purdah. The officer replied that he does not have psychiatric medicines for her phobia. The Islamists then indulged in a lengthy roadside lecture.
This did not go down well with the locals who reminded them that their statements were rubbish. Bigoted Islamist TV channels scrambled to cover the story. Emboldened, the lady said that the police told her that her clothes were a real issue. She added that the police pushed her son and asserted that she warned the police not to touch him!
Afsal alleged that the officer asked him how many Hindu friends he had. He even claimed that when he provided a few names, the officer wanted him to reveal more names! Though the family filmed the whole incident they could not produce any proof to confirm their version of the officer’s alleged ‘abuse.’
Though social media support came mainly from Popular Front of India (PFI) radicals, Afsal claimed that he was a Congress worker. He admitted that he called the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chairman K Sudhakaran who ‘consoled’ Afzal and his mother. Bindhu Krishna, the INC candidate from the Kollam constituency in the 2021 Kerala Assembly elections called and spoke to the bigoted family. Islamists in Kerala have an old habit of working for the Communists/ Congress during the day and joining their PFI cadre at night.
Bindhu even called up officer Vinod and pressured him to diffuse the situation and this was confirmed by the officer himself. Vinod later told media that he has charged the family for covid protocol violations but allowed the family to continue and collect the girl from the hostel.
Being entrapped in such situations does nothing to improve the morale of hundreds of honest upright officers, all of whom are on the edge. Why Afsal and his family were not arrested for their misdemeanor and charged is a mystery. Kerala police’s courage it seems is reserved for the Hindu community.
Social media exploded with support for the officer after local CPM MLA Mukesh M posted old abusive Facebook posts of Afsal where he is seen using the fake Hindu identity, Aaryan Mithraa. ‘Aaryan’ claimed in a social media post that he undressed a minor and played with her breasts. Social media speculated that this was the real reason why his mother wouldn’t allow Afsal and his sister to travel together. Incidentally, Mukesh defeated Bindhu during the 2021 assembly elections.
This wouldn’t be the first instance of a war of words between Congress and CPM in recent times. A similar slanging match broke out after a student named Dheeraj, linked to SFI (CPM’s notorious and violent student wing), was stabbed to death by Nikhil Paily, a local Youth Congress (YC) leader, earlier this month.
Incidentally, the Ochira mosque cleric said that Vinod is a police officer who handles complaints fairly and added that the Afsal’s story was imaginary.
Such incidents aimed to whip up Hinduphobia and slander honest public officials are on the rise in Kerala. The Islamist Afsal Maniyil is yet to update or alter his Facebook post but has locked his fake ‘Aaryan Mithraa’ profile. Though this incident has proved to be massively embarrassing for the Kerala Police, it is unlikely that cases like Afsal will be dealt with firmly.