Thursday, May 21, 2009
Biggest Police firing ever in Kerala..
..and nobody is talking about it.
My friend called me yesterday and told me about what can be called the biggest ever Police firing that happened in Kerala a few days back. It killed five people, and injured about 40 others. He was surprised that I did not even know about it.
I have Mathrubhumi at home, my father is active in Kerala's political scene, I have journalist friends.. Nobody told me about it.
May be nobody wants to talk about a "communal" incident.
I did some googling and found some details. From interesting sources.
"Islamic Terrorism" website says,
"Muslims, Christians clash in Thiruvananthapuram Kerala, 5 killed, 38 injured".
Sounds cheeky. But only when one gets to the fine print, it does tell so much:
"Securitymen in different uniforms stood guard in front of shops which remained closed for the second day after the police firing to avert communal clashes claimed five lives."
OK - so it is not the Islamic terrorists who killed five people. It was the Police. The article goes on:
"It all began on Saturday when a goon from Cheiryathura, a Christian belt, tried to extort money from merchants at Bheemappally, a Muslim-dominated region. After being manhandled by the locals, the goon, Shibu, rushed to Cheriyathura only to return with a company of his men to retaliate. The gang from Cheriyathura set ablaze a fishing net at Bheemappally.
Though the police intervened on Saturday night itself, they lowered their guard assuming normalcy had returned. On Sunday afternoon, a group of youth from Bheemappally stormed into Cheriyathura, hurling bombs at the people of the rival side. The police opened fire, killing four people on the spot, as the mob moved towards a local church. Another person succumbed to injuries on Monday. Nearly 38 men have been injured in the incident.."
New Kerala site says, "Four people were killed in this Kerala capital Sunday after clashes between groups of two communities forced the police to open fire, an official said."
A Police firing that kills five people is not a joke. Not even in the infamous Muthanga firing could match that. Yet, nobody seems to be interested in taking up this issue, except for some Muslim groups (at the risk of being branded communal).
Congress-led UDF is busy celebrating victory, and CPM is busy finding reasons for their wash-out. Muslim League has decided to speak about it after three days (See news in today's Hindu).
New Indian Express is probably the only major news paper link that reported the incident. (Again, with a funny title: Four killed in communal clashes in Kerala).
Then I saw one e-mail with link to news on NCHRO page (Kerala Police fires at fishing community, four dead) on a mailing list. Nobody responded to that mail on the list.
I wonder where do we go from here.