KOCHI: THE Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is all set to probe the larger conspiracy behind the second Marad carnage, will have to investigate the questions raised by the Justice Thomas P Joseph Commission on the role played by the NDF and the IUML in the incident.
“Apart from those who have already been arrested, there were other entities involved in the conspiracy and the massacre,” stated a report from the Commission, referring to activists of the NDF and the IUML. “It is quite unlikely that the activists hatched the conspiracy and executed the massacre without the blessings of their local leaders. Hence, the larger conspiracy behind the incident should be investigated by the CBI,” pointed out the statement. The Commission also named four top officials in its report, including Kozhikode former District Collector T O Sooraj, who allegedly failed to take precautions to prevent the second riots at Marad. On December 31, 2001, a minor clash during the new year celebrations had escalated into communal riots at Marad, in which four persons belonging to two different communities lost their lives. The Commission also criticised the then government for the delay in prosecuting the accused named in the 115 cases registered in connection with the riots.
The delay helped the accused get bail and engage in conspiracy to unleash more violence and engage in anti-social activities. Fishermen living in the coastal areas of Marad, who are socially and financially backward, were communally divided by vested interests in the year 1954 itself. Since then, peace has been marred by political clashes and murders in the area.
According to the Commission, it is hard to believe that the massacre carried out on May 2, 2003, was in retaliation to the murder of Aboobacker on January 1, 2002. None of the eight Hindus killed in 2003 was involved in any of the cases registered in connection with the riots.
The revelations of C M Pradeep Kumar, who was the chief investigating officer, will also be crucial in the CBI probe. He had revealed that the demand for CBI investigation was sabotaged using political influence.
The Marad incident is nothing less than a terrorist activity with international links. The operatives came in boats and returned by sea after the attack. It is suspected that preparations for the attacks were made by radical organisations in the region. Pradeep Kumar had also pointed out that deposition of the witnesses before the Judicial Commission revealed that the growing Islamic fundamentalism in Kozhikode was destroying communal harmony. The radical groups also engage in large-scale drug trafficking and gold smuggling. The statements of the witnesses also shed light on the ISI activities in Kerala and flow of funds to the region for subversive activities.
The Enforcement Directorate had also informed that during the 1999-2002 period there was large-scale fund flow to the region, which include transfer of `430 crore to a local resident from some local banks.