Wednesday, March 02, 2005

a riot with a difference

March 2nd

members of community 1 and community 2 attack each other; houses are burnt, people rendered homeless. the issue is traced to a girl of community 1 being teased by men of community 2.

this is the sort of headline one reads often in the indian media. they never identify community 1 or community 2, based on some archaic code of 'ethics' (in quotation marks because we are talking about the indian media after all, the kings of sleaze). but one can generally get an idea of which community is 1 and 2 by reading between the lines. generally the brunt of the damage is borne by hindus.

there has been such a communal riot in poovar near trivandrum. and it is a riot with a difference.

amazingly enough, it turns out the communities are muslims and christians. this must be a first in india. this being a coastal community, it must be latin catholics on the one side and muslims on the other, possibly both fisherfolk.

now you can expect to see the USCIRF swing into action, not to mention chief godmen, such as john dayal and valson thampu. or will they keep quiet because they are afraid of muslims?

thanks to sulekha and kaumudi

Police suspect hand of 30-member gang

By Our Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, FEB. 28. The police are investigating a 30-member gang, headed by Johnny alias `Karate' Johnny, 25, in connection with the incidents of arson and rioting at EMS Colony in the coastal village of Poovar near here on Sunday.

The police suspect that the gang had set the houses in the colony on fire by using petrol bombs and country-made explosives. The mob that attacked the colony was more than 600 strong and included women. The police said 106 houses in the colony were gutted.

Relief camp

More than 500 residents who fled the colony were shifted late on Sunday night to a relief camp opened by the district administration in a nearby school.

The police today questioned Asim, 19, and Salabudeen, 45, who sustained serious injuries in the attack. An official said the right palm of Asim was shattered in an explosion.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in Poovar area today. In the morning, the police resorted to caning to disperse a group of people who blocked the Vizhinjam-Poovar road in an attempt to prevent the head of a place of worship from visiting the relief camp.

Four policemen, including the Circle Inspector, Poovar, sustained minor injuries in the incident.

In the afternoon, another set of people blocked the road demanding the release of four youth taken into custody by the police for questioning in connection with the violence.

Security up

As many as 200 policemen are camping in Poovar. Twelve police pickets have been established in the area. The police are verifying all vehicles entering and leaving the area. Temporary police check posts have been set up at Chappathu, T.B. Junction, Pattiyakala and Attupuram.

The police have cordoned off two fisher-folk colonies on the Poovar beach where those responsible for the violence are suspected to be hiding.

Violence flayed

The Thiruvananthapuram Latin Archbishop M. Susaipakiyam has condemned the violent incidents at Poovar.

The Archbishop said in a statement here today that those behind the violence should be brought to book. He expressed concern over the incidents and warned the people against attempts to spread canards and inflame communal passions. He called upon them to exercise restraint against such moves.

The Kerala Imam's Council, Thiruvananthapuram district, has condemned the attack on members of a particular community in Poovar. In a press release here, the council said that those responsible for the violence had also attempted to attack Hamsa Maulavi Farooqi who was on his way to the relief camp.

A. Neelalohita Dasan Nadar, MLA, visited the area. The Janata Dal and the Communist Party of India have demanded new houses for those who lost their dwellings in the violence.

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