The Marad Special Courts Judge Babu Mathew P. Joseph on January 15 sentenced to life imprisonment 62 Muslims for butchering eight Hindu fishermen in Marad sea shore, near Kozhikode, on May 2, 2003. They were also fined Rs. 10,000/- each and if they failed to pay the amount, they have to undergo imprisonment for another year. The justice convicted them for imprisonment for a total of 27 years for offences under IPC 148, 449, 307, 427 and 153(a) which was to run concurrently.
The Judge also convicted the manager of the Marad Mosque to five years imprisonment for allowing to hide the blood-stained weapons in the mosque building. Also 73 accused were let off giving them the benefit of doubt.
As part of the jehadi strategy to clear the Kerala coast of Hindu fishermen, eight Hindu fishermen were butchered, houses destroyed, women and children molested and attacked and house-hold goods looted.
Just like the unprecedented attack, the response from the Hindu society was also unprecedented and spontaneous. Hindus forgetting caste, creed, status, gender etc. stood as one man, under the banner of RSS and Hindu Aikya Vedi. They prevented the then Kerala Chief Minister and present Defence Minister AK Antony from visiting Marad. The families of jehadis, who left Marad, prior to the day of attack, were prevented for several months from returning to their homes.
As per the settlement reached between government and RSS, Rs. 10 lakh plus government job for a family member was given to survivors of the eight Hindu martyrs.
Although RSS, BJP, HAV are demanding a CBI probe into conspiracy of the Marad carnage, both the Congress-led, Muslim League-supported UDF and CPM-led LDF are torpedoing it for Muslim vote-bank politics.
The Thomas P Joseph Judicial Commission into the Marad carnage had called for a CBI enquiry into the conspiracy angle of the Marad carnage and the role of LeT and ISI. It had severely indicted Muslim League and NDF for active role in the riots. It severely censured E Ahmed, Muslim League leader and present minister of state for external affairs for forcibly opening the Marad Mosque (where weapons were stored) and offering namaz.
Both the Congress and CPM are opposing a CBI probe since Muslim cadres of all parties were involved in the massacre. Out of the total 136 accused, activists of Congress, CPM, CPI, Muslim League, NDF and Madhani'sPDP were there.
BJP, RSS and HAV leaders PS Sreedharan Pillai, Kummanam Rajasekharan and Marad Suresh have welcomed the judgement, although saying it is partial victory for the Hindu fishing community. They say death sentence for all the 62 and a CBI probe into the conspiracy angle will be full victory for Hindu society. The relatives of the dead Hindu martyrs also want death penalty imposed on the jehadis, since the attacks were brutal and barbaric. Each dead person and eighty to ninety cuts on the body, heads severed and even eyes/ears pulled out. Are they humans or stone age cannibals?