Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Monday told the Assembly that the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI), tried to foment communal hatred by intruding in peaceful protests against the amended citizenship law.
Replying to a question by a Congress legislator on arrests related to anti-CAA demonstrations, the Chief Minister said the SDPI has been trying to infiltrate into protests against CAA conducted by various mahallu committees. “Extremist outfits are trying to divert the issue on account of the protest (against CAA). Several mahallu committees had staged protests in a peaceful manner. However, SDPI is thinking on extremist lines. Those belonging to SDPI have intruded into the protests and created troubles. What is going on is an attempt to foment communal hatred on behalf of the protest which cannot be tolerated. There are attempts to divert the protest over CAA and divide society. The government would take stringent actions against such attempts,” he said.
The Chief Minister was answering a question raised by Congress legislator Roji M John, who alleged that police had booked 200 persons over a protest organised by a mahallu committee.
The Chief Minister’s remarks triggered a brief war of words between the ruling and opposition benches. “Why is the Opposition getting agitated when I mention the name of SDPI? Are they saying that I should not talk about SDPI and extremism?” Vijayan asked.
When UDF members alleged that police had registered cases against their leaders and party workers for taking part in anti-CAA protests, the Chief Minister said the law enforcers had to intervene as the protesters destroyed public property.
The Chief Minister also made it clear that his government had not registered a case against anyone who took part in the anti-CAA protests peacefully and in accordance with the law.
The SDPI denied the charge and asked the state government to cite any example where the SDPI had resorted to violence during anti-CAA protests. “The Chief Minister is trying to mislead the Assembly. Not even a single SDPI worker has so far been arrested in violent incidents related to the protests,” SDPI state general secretary P Abdul Hameed said.
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