BJP alleges ‘IS links’ to hoax hartal call over Kathua rape case, seeks NIA probe

BJP state general secretary M T Ramesh claimed posters demanding justice for the Kathua rape victim, allegedly prepared by a pro-ISIS social media group based in Sri Lanka, had been widely circulated on social media in the state along with the hartal call.

By: PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: April 23, 2018 10:32:11 pm
Kathua Unnao rape protest Delhi Mumbai The April 16 hoax call by some unidentified groups on the social media had triggered widespread tension across the state. (File)

BJP in Kerala on Monday alleged there was a connection between terror outfit ISIS and the recent ‘hoax’ hartal call in the state over the Kathua rape and sought an NIA probe. The party would lodge a complaint with the National
Investigation Agency (NIA) seeking a probe in this regard, BJP state general secretary M T Ramesh told reporters here. He claimed posters demanding justice for the Kathua rape victim, allegedly prepared by a pro-ISIS social media group based in Sri Lanka, had been widely circulated on social media in the state along with the hartal call.

The April 16 hoax call by some unidentified groups on the social media had triggered widespread tension across the state, with agitators blocking public transport, forcibly downing shutters and hurling stones at vehicles in the name of the ‘hartal’. A large number of people were arrested across the state in connection with the hartal while police later said they found some whatsapp groups had purposefully spread the call.

Ramesh accused the state government of trying to end the investigation with “some WhatsApp groups”. “The recent hartal, called via social media, by some groups and the following violence had connection with ISIS. The Kerala government is trying to end the investigation with some whatsapp groups,” Ramesh alleged. “The NIA should probe the case as the incident had international links”, he added.

“The perpetrators of violence had tried to trigger riot in Malabar (north Kerala) under the garb of hartal,” the BJP leader charged. A day after the hartal, BJP state president Kummanom Rajasekharan has alleged anti-national forces were behind the violence in connection with the ‘hartal’ and demanded that they be booked for terror and the matter be handed over to NIA for further probe. The hoax hartal call was given to protest the recent alleged gang rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua region.

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