Tamil Nadu, once a peaceful State, witnessing a disturbing trend of jihad terror. While secular media has gone silent as the victims of lynching are ‘Hindus’
A PMK functionary, an anti-Conversion activist and a staunch Hindu, Ramalingam was brutally murdered by a gang of Islamists in Tamil Nadu on February 5. It was in reaction to Ramalingam’s continuous efforts to counter conversions of Dalits and other Hindu brethren by Islamic fundamentalists in and around Tanjavur.
In a video that has surfaced, on February 5, Ramalingam was seen arguing with a group of people who were involved in converting people to Islam in the Thirubhuvanam locality of Tanjavur. The argument broke out when they asked Ramalingam to convert to Islam. He took the skull cap from the Islamist involved in conversion there and wore it himself. Later, Ramalingam is seen applying Vibuthi on the forehead of the person with whom he was arguing. As the Islamist immediately wiped his forehead, Ramalingam says that when he can wear a Muslim skull cap as a symbol of respect to Islam, why did he refuse to accept Hindu identity as he immediately rubbed the Vibhuti off? After a brief argument with the Islamists there, Ramalingam says that they are not real Muslims but terrorists involved in the forceful conversion of people to Islam. He also accused that many such people are involved in anti-national activities. Further, Ramalingam asked the group involved in forceful conversions to go out of the Village.
The Islamists Take Revenge
On the evening of February 5, Ramalingam was returning home with his son after getting the headlight of his motorbike repaired at a mechanic shop. On the way to the home, they reached Mosque street when four men came from the opposite direction in a car and blocked his way. Two men got down from the car with chilli powder and knives used in butcher shops in their hands. They started attacking Ramalingam and his son. As the assailants targeted his son’s neck, Ramalingam came in between, and while doing so the weapon struck his hand piercing it open. When Ramalingam tried to resist further attacks, the assailants hacked on many parts of his body. Once the attackers left, his son took him to a local hospital where they refused to admit him. He was then taken to Kumbakonam government hospital where he was given basic treatment. Considering his serious condition the doctor there referred him to Thanjavur Government hospital which has an operation theatre facility. But unfortunately, Ramalingam passed away due to heavy blood loss. Before his death, Ramalingam informed his son that the attackers were relatives of one Riwasuddin whom he knew very well.
Arrest of the Accused
The news of the murder of Ramalingam spread like wildfire. The video where he is seen arguing with the Islamists involved in conversion spread on social media. Ramalingam never had any enemies either in business or in personal life as confirmed by his wife Chitra. His son went on record in a press interview and said that his father informed him before his death that the killers are relatives of Riwasuddin. His wife Chitra said that Ramalingam was killed only because he opposed the conversion activities two days back and not because of any other reasons.
After initial apathy, police arrested five members alleged to be the activists of the Popular front of India. The following are the arrested PFI activists: Sarbudhin,60, S/O Yakub of Tirubhuvanam; Mohammed Rizwan,23, S/O Manter Ali of Tirubhuvanam; Mohammed Riyas,27, S/O Haja Fakruddin of Kurunjimalai; Nizam Ali,33, S/O Sardar Khan of Tirubhuvanam; Azaruddin,26, S/O Abdul Kalam of Tiruvidaimarudur. After the arrest, the Tirubhuvanam Jamaat through a circular asked its members to contribute 2 per cent of their earnings to extend all kind of support to the accused and their family. The Jamaat of Tirubhuvanam has also decided to provide legal and financial support to the accused. The Jamaat has also appointed members to coordinate and undertake the support activities.
Reactions from Political Parties and Leaders
Initially, only BJP condemned Ramalingam’s murder by Islamic fundamentalists. H Raja, one of the national secretaries of the BJP visited the house of Ramalingam to mourn his death. PMK founder Ramadass condemned the death as Ramalingam was a PMK functionary. But Anbumani Ramadass who is actually in charge of the party didn’t condemn the incident or its perpetrators. Apart from that many Hindu organisations condemned the incident and offered help to the family of Ramalingam. But despite that strong social media reactions against the murder, the parties initially kept mum fearing loss of Muslim votes but later condemned only the murder. DMK chief MK Stalin condemned the murder on his official twitter page two days after the incident. However, he never uttered a word against the Islamic fundamentalists who killed Ramalingam. Most of the political reactions were for namesake as they fear losing minority votes in upcoming elections.
Social Media Forces Condemnation
#JusticeForRamalingam hashtag was trending at all India level seeking justice for Ramalingam’s death. On Facebook, people reacted strongly against the murder. Pieces of evidence put out on social media clearly correlated the involvement of Muslim fundamentalists behind the murder. If there were no social media, then it would have been another hit-and-run job by mainstream media who would have tried to paint it as an act of personnel vendetta. This is how the media has tried to undermine numerous murders of Hindu activists in Tamil Nadu earlier. Anger expressed on Social media forced political parties like DMK and its leaders to condemn the incident at least for namesake, though generally they have anti-Hindu mindset.
Ramalingam’s Personnel Background
45-year-old Ramalingam was a native of Thirubhuvanam town in Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu. He owned a catering and marriage contract business named “THAMIZHAN CATRERES” in Thirubhuvanam. He is survived by wife Chitra and three sons. Ramalingam was a party functionary of ’Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK)’. Ramalingam was a ‘’secular’’ person who respected other religions equally and maintained a cordial relationship with Muslims. Jamal Muhaideen Hijri was the person who inaugurated and also helped him find a place for rent to start his business. As he had mentioned in his Facebook post, Ramalingam was proud of his association with Muslims and was proud of it. He had recently attended the inauguration of ‘’Fresh Fresh” supermarket belonging to his Muslim friends. After the mayhem created by Gaja Cyclone, in a Facebook post, Ramalingam offered help in cooking food and providing utensils for free to the needy and those who were involved in relief work. In the same post he had clearly mentioned that his aid was not for caste organisations or political parties.
(with inputs from VSK Bharat)