July 25, 2010 4:05:14 am
Adopting a belligerent stand against Muslim extremism,Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Saturday said the radical Popular Front of India (PFI),which hit the headlines recently after its activists were accused of chopping off the hand of a college lecturer,was aiming to convert Kerala into a Muslim country in the next 20 years.
Using unusually harsh language,the Chief Minister said the PFI was pumping money to lure youth into Islam and persuade them to marry Muslim women. Their strategy is to make Muslims a majority community in Kerala… In 20 years,they want to make Kerala a Muslim majority state,” he said. The lecturer’s hand was chopped off after he had prepared a question paper that allegedly insulted the Prophet.
The CM’s comments came a day after CPM general secretary Prakash Karat spoke about the threat of Muslim terrorism in the context of the PFI activities. The CPM had named the PFI while talking about increase in terrorist activities in the country and pointed out that there was an interconnection between communalism and the spawning of such terrorist activities.
The incident had become a political hot potato in Kerala. Recently,the Congress echoing the PFI line had alleged that the Left Front government was targeting the Muslim community. With elections to local bodies scheduled for September and Assembly elections less than a year away,the Congress was clearly eyeing the sizeable Muslim vote base.
Achuthanandan said terrorists were creating major problems in the state. The outfit,in its earlier avatar as NDF,had given training,money and weapons to youngsters to eliminate opponents. Now they were trying to create a clean image by organising freedom parades on the Independence Day. Several district administrations had already banned the parade,he added.
With the Left Front government going hard at the PFI,there is a feeling that the Left was playing the Hindu card,hoping that there would be a strong Hindu backlash against the spurt in Islamic extremist activities in the state.
Recently,the government intensified a crackdown by conducting state-wide raids at PFI bases across the state,arresting one of its senior leaders,suspected to be among the main conspirators behind the attack on college lecturer T J Joseph.
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