Islamist fundamentalist organisation Popular Front of India (PFI) in a provocative show of might, held a rally on 17 February followed by a large gathering of its activists in the coastal town of Ullal in Dakshina Kannada district. This event has left the police, district administration and the general public baffled at the sheer force it demonstrated, indicating a rising subscription to muscular Islamism.
Following the event, the Ullal police have filed two suo-motu FIRs naming 14 persons among the organisers. The FIR has said that the organisers had not taken prior permission to hold a route march in the town disrupting traffic and disrobing public life.
The route march saw the participation of over 5,000 Muslims, many of them dressed in uniforms that are usually donned by the militia. The protesters raised anti-Hindu, anti- RSS slogans.
The “unity march”, as it was called, featured a motorcade with outriders, giving the impression that a new “armed force” was marching into the town.
A roadshow of the same nature was organised by the PFI in Malappuram (Kerala). In a video that went viral, people dressed in RSS ‘ganavesha’ were paraded with chains. Anti-Hindu slogans were also raised.
Following this show of power, the Home Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraj Bommai, has bitterly criticised the ‘hate speech’ that was allegedly delivered by Anis Ahmed, PFI’s Karnataka General Secretary, on the occasion.