Violence And Blame Traded Over Communal Tension in Kerala's Nadapuram

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One of the 40 houses that was gutted in politically-motivated violence in Kerala's Nadapuram.

Thiruvananthapuram: 

Charred walls and broken windows, this is the home 39-year-old Sulekha Mustafa has returned to three weeks after it was set on fire, forcing her to flee with her three children. Her's is one of 40 Muslim homes in Nadapuram in Kozhikode, that was targeted allegedly by CPI (M) loyalists. The attacks had reportedly been in retaliation to the murder of a CPI (M) youth wing worker, allegedly by workers of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

"I am still scared. My children are still troubled mentally. We can't sleep. We have horrible dreams," says Ms Mustafa.

The violence escalated during the funeral procession of 19-year-old Shibin, a CPI (M) youth worker. Six other youths were attacked along with Shibin, but escaped with injuries and have been hospitalised.

Shibin's family and the CPI (M) blame the IUML for the attack, that claimed the youth's life. "What does Muslim League get by killing people like this? They will rebuild their houses. Where will we get our son from?" asked Bhaskaran, Shibin's father, standing by his son's funeral pyre.

The CPI (M) and IUML however are both trading blame for the violence and are accusing each other of colluding with the police.

"Muslim League is behind this brutal attack. Where was the police? It is Muslim League and police hand in hand," alleges Mohanan Master, CPI (M) district secretary.

It is the exact same charge that the IUML is levelling against the CPI (M). "This has been done by the CPI (M) and police hand-in-hand," says Muslim Youth League state secretary Subair.

The police however say they were outnumbered 10 to one when tensions escalated during Shibin's funeral procession, but that the situation has been under control since. ""We couldn't use arms or tear gas because of the procession for the dead body. We were outnumbered by 10 times. But no life was lost, and not a single incident has happened since that day till today," said Kozhikode District's Superintendent of Police, PH Ashraf.

Nadapuram has a history of communal unrest and violence fuelled by political vendetta. The town has a special police control room to specifically address its communally sensitive nature.
 

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