The judicial commission set up to probe the Marad massacre (May 2003), has revealed what was till now only an apprehensive whisper. The politicians in Kerala, both the Congress and Communists have for long now been cultivating terrorist organisations, often funded from abroad for the Muslim vote-bank. The report of the commission headed by District Judge, Thomas P Joseph was submitted to the government two months back and the United Democratic Front government in Kerala has been sitting tight on it. The commission'sfindings were reported by The Indian Express (April 26, 2006).
Marad, the tiny sleepy village along the Arabian Sea in Kerala was not merely yet another communal flare-up points in India. When eight Hindu fishermen (reportedly attending a Shakha) were hacked to death, on May 2, 2003, the massacre blew the cover on the surreptitious communal fever spreading in the state, with covert and overt support by the Muslim League, Congress and Communists and funded by foreign agencies.
The UDF, led then by A.K. Antony swept the matter quickly under the carpet. The reasons were not far to seek. The assailants had taken shelter in the Juma Masjid, Marad and the police were prevented by people from entering the mosque. It was all too clear that the massacre conspiracy was hatched at the Masjid and the politicians did not want to enquire. In fact T.K. Vinod Kumar, the then Kozhikode Police Commissioner has asserted in his deposition before the commission that ?the conspiracy was hatched in the Marad Juma Masjid and other places.?
Strangely, in a curious post-massacre twist, the RSS became the target of the ire of the politicians for what they called as the forced eviction of Muslims from the village. Instead of focusing on the massacre, the government and the media focused on the deserting Muslim families, whose members were involved in the massacre or were in the know of it and could identify the killers.
The commission report has said that at least one Muslim League MP, now a minister in the Congress-led coalition, was aware of the conspiracy beforehand. The state government had rejected a CBI probe. From the depositions before the commission, it is evident that the CBI probe was refused because the Muslim League did not want it. The commission report has trashed the investigation done by the state police. It has asked the government to set up a special investigation team.
The commission has strongly criticized the role of T.O. Sooraj, who was then the Kozhikode District Collector for allowing Muslim leaders especially E. Ahmed, into the mosque after taking custody of the place for possession of huge arms cache. Sooraj is now Industries Secretary.
The Chief Minister Oommen Chandy'sreaction to The Indian Express report would have been comical if the matter was not this grave. He said ?nobody could now accuse me of leaking the report to the Press because everyone in the Home Department knows I have not read one line of the report.? Antony, who was the chief minister at the time of massacre, has not ?seen even one page? of the two-volume report.
The Communists, who have a partial vision when it comes to communalism, are playing coy about the newspaper revelation. Instead of taking on the UDF government head-on at this crucial election campaign phase, the comrades are tarrying the matter by saying that they will study the report when they come to power. The Communists are bidding for power with the support of the Islamic extremist elements in Kerala as is clear from the support announced by Madhani, incarcerating in Tamil Nadu jail, in the Coimbatore bomb blast case. The support of the PDP, Madhani'sparty, has been ?graciously? accepted by the Communists.
The commission has stated that there are active bases of several terrorist organisations in Kerala, operating with foreign funds and direction and local support. It has indicted the government for not taking action against them as it was ?interested only in their vote-bank.? The report has called for further investigation, as the commission believed that there is larger conspiracy than what the crime branch revealed. Will the politicians of Kerala wake up before another Marad happens?