करंट टॉपिक्स

Deepawali fire crackers a taboo in Kerala

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Kerala. Case has been registered in Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam district, in connection with the attack on houses by a gang led by a neighbouring policeman. The reason is simple – A Tamilian family living there set off fire crackers to celebrate Deepawali. The incident took place in market place in Muvattupuzha around 8.30 pm on October 24. The attackers stormed into the houses of Tamilians and assaulted the members of the families including women and children. They demolished their stoves while they were cooking Deepawali sweets and snacks. The assaulted are Thankapandyan and his wife, his parents P.T. Pandyan and Meena and Bhaskaran. The seven and five year old children were pushed down. Bhaskaran has sustained injury underneath his eye due to the attack by a sharp weapon. There was also an attempt to snatch the gold chain of a woman.

The victims have been living in the market area since the last several decades. They cook the snacks and sell them for their daily bread. They complained to the police that they were attacked for setting off fire crackers in connection with Deepavali.

Police official Rafeeq (Armed Reserve Police) and three others are the accused in the case. It was a gang attack. The injured, including women, are hospitalised. The ‘Tamilian Collective’ submitted their complaints before Muvattupuzha Police and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Even though there were attempts to bring a compromise and settle the case, police officials did not oblige. The initiative came up from local political leaders. Some compensation monies were the bait. But, when senior police officers came to the scene, the “middle men” left.

Local people observe the incident as a serious issue. It looks like a classic example of religious fundamentalism determined to ‘kill’ Hindu traditions and faiths. It is in tune with the larger design against Hindutva. Since Kerala is the safe haven for the religious fundamentalists having all sorts of blessings from both ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front and Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front, these sorts of incidents are not all any surprise to anyone.

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