Thiruvananthapuram: The CPI(M) in Kerala is on the receiving end of furious criticism from Muslim groups and other political parties over Kozhikode Secretary P. Mohanan’s remark, which claimed that “Islamic extremists” are providing fodder to Maoists as the state is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the incidents of violence.
The controversial comment comes at the backdrop of the recent killings of Maoists in alleged fake encounters and the arrests of two student CPM activists by the Left government under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for their alleged Maoist leanings.
Mohanan said on Tuesday that the “strongholds of Islamic extremists offer support to Maoists and the police must launch an enquiry into it,” while addressing a gathering in Thamarassery.
Following the immediate backlash, Mohanan clarified that he never intended to slam Islam as a religion.
“Former Naxal leaders are now active members in the NDF and Popular Front. These outfits are responsible for the Pantheerankavu incident where two youngsters were arrested for their pro-Maoist campaigning,” he said. He also questioned the Muslim League’s justification of the NDF.
Mohanan first grabbed the headlines when he came down heavily on the youth for propagating Maoist activism in the state, pushing the Pinarayi Vijayan-Kerala government in a tight spot.
As the matter landed up in the Assembly, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala urged the government to clarify on the alleged presence of Islamic terrorism in the state. He also asked not to give the terrorist activities any communal angle.
Meanwhile, the Muslim League demanded that the government name the Islamic groups that Mohanan alleged is acting in favour of Maoism in Kerala.
On the other hand, senior BJP leader Kummanam Rajasekharan came in support of the support saying that his party had spoken on the matter well in advance.
“The state government is responsible if those involved in major terror cases still remain scot-free. Maoists and Islamic extremists work hand-in-glove,” said Rajasekharan during a presser in Kochi, calling for a detailed investigation into the matter.