Kerala Police Registers FIR Against Maneka Gandhi
Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, MAY 5—The Malappuram police have registered a criminal case against former union minister and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi and several other BJP leaders on allegations of “deliberately spreading hate” against Malappuram district and its residents after the death of a pregnant elephant.
The FIR was lodged on Thursday night on the complaint of an advocate Subhash Chandran hailing from Malappuram itself.
While police received six complaints in all against Mrs Gandhi and others, the police filed the FIR on the complaint received from the advocate and attached the rest with Chandran’s complaint as all the complaints were against Mrs Gandhi and other BJP leaders on the same issue.
Speaking over phone from Malappuram, the advocate said that it was well-known that the elephant died on May 29 after consuming explosive-laden pineapple in Mannarkkad in Palakkad district.
He said that all the major newspapers operating from out of South India like “The Hindu” and “The Indian Express” prominently reported that the elephant had died in Palakkad district, not in Malappuram district, and the issue dominated the social media conversations in the last three days.
“But a group of people, particularly BJP leaders, deliberately added communal colour into it only to spread hatred against Malappuram, which is the Muslim majority district in the State of Kerala. It was not only Maneka Gandhi and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar who repeatedly referred to the death of elephant having taken place in Malappuram district but also the local and state BJP leaders are also propagating that the elephant died in Malappuram district knowing well that the death of animal took place in Palakkad district”.
Chandran said that while leaders in Delhi could make a mistake but it was not possible for the local and state leaders. “Even the local BJP leaders of Palakkad district are naming Malappuram district in their statements. Since the local as well as central BJP leaders are using the same language repeatedly, it proves there is some conspiracy on their part to defame Malappuram district and its citizens and that is why I filed the police complaint”, Chandran elaborated while talking to this scribe.
Chandran said that Maneka Gandhi also propagated that the locals in Malappuram district used to spray poison on roads to kill 300-400 birds and dogs at a time.
When questioned what could be the reason for the central as well as state BJP leaders propagating that the elephant died in Malappuram district, the advocate said that “Malappuram district is a Muslim majority district, and by advertising that the elephant died after consuming explosive-filled pineapple in Malappuram district, they want to convey a false message that the wild animal was killed by Muslims and hence, to polarise the society on communal lines for political gains in Kerala where BJP has not been able to make inroads”.
“The first hate campaign on the issue was started by Pakistani-origin Canadian citizen Tarek Fateh against the Malappuram district and the Muslim community which was followed by Mrs. Gandhi, who too, made false allegations against the district of Malappuram and the people of Malappuram”, said Chandran. Tarek Fateh, according to Chandran, is a known fake-news peddler.
Meanwhile, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and several Congress and Left party leaders have condemned the attempts to give a communal twist to the incident. The CM said that some people were trying to use the incident to “import bigotry” into the state and launch a “hate campaign” to polarise the society and disturb communal harmony as a part of their political strategy. The CM has also ordered inquiry into the death of the elephant.
Malappuram MP and IUML leader PK Kunhalikutty also condemned the BJP leaders for incorrectly naming Malappuram district with regard to the death of the elephant. He said that while BJP leaders don’t condemn killing of human beings in Delhi and other places, they use Malappuram’s name to promote their communal agenda.
President of the youth wing of the Muslim League Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal told mediapersons that while the death of the elephant in Palakkad district was very sad, what was really dangerous was to give a communal colour to the incident by targetting Malappuram as the “centre of hatred against animals.”