KOZHIKODE: Despite the Marad violence in 2003 remaining a dot of shame in its socio-political landscape, Kerala has fared better than its neighbouring states in maintaining communal harmony.
The latest Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) data revealed only six communal flare-ups were reported in Kerala in 2016 injuring 10 persons. In this period, 101 such incidents were reported in Karnataka in which 12 persons were killed and 248 injured. In Tamil Nadu, one person was killed and 36 injured in eight incidents.
However, there has been a marginal increase in the number of violent acts in Kerala from the previous years - four in 2014 and three in 2015. In 2014, one person was killed and 20 injured while three persons were injured the next year.
Along with the timely intervention of law and order agencies, police officers underlined the role of political parties in preventing the escalation of communal issues. “Kerala’s political culture is different from other states. All major political parties adopt a sensible stand when it comes to dealing with communal issues. We all uphold secular values to ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the state,” said Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) general secretary K P A Majeed.
CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who was the Home Minister during the previous LDF regime, said the strong presence of the Left parties was another reason behind this. “Keralites are more sensible than others when it comes to taking tough stand against communal issues,” he said.
The police said they have put certain outfits under scanner following intelligence inputs. The MHA has issued communal harmony guidelines emphasising standard operating procedures to be deal with situations arising out of communal violence. The guidelines are: due vigilance, careful planning, preparatory measures to prevent and pre-empt possible incidents of communal violence.