KOZHIKODE:The murder of 26-year-old Bipin, an accused in Kodinhi Faisal murder case, in Malappuram on August 24, 2017, cannot be just seen as a lone communal incident reported in Kerala. In fact, the communal harmony record of Kerala has gone for a toss as per the latest Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) data which shows 100 per cent rise in the number of communal incidents in the state in 2017 compared to 2016.
In 2017, 12 communal incidents were reported with one death while it was just six incidents in 2016 and three in 2015. As per the data, it was in 2017 that the first death due to a communal incident was reported in Kerala in the last three years while no deaths were reported in 2016 and 2015.The sprout in communal incidents in Kerala in the last three years has been a worrisome factor as the situation is altogether grim in southern states when the number of communal incidents reported in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are also taken into account. Similarly, the number of persons injured in communal incidents in the state was 28 in 2017, 10 in 2016 and three in 2015.
State police chief Loknath Behera, however, said the rise in number of communal cases was due to police liberally invoking Section 153 -A of IPC (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony). “Whenever there is an input that people are indulging in activities disturbing communal harmony, police book the accused under Section 153 (A). Kerala Police have been watchful in this regard,” the police chief said.
Sociologist and Calicut University Sociology Department coordinator Dr N P Hafiz Mohamad said the state’s communal harmony has come under threat after crime propagated by religious and political groups got institutionalised.“Nowadays communal incidents and political violence are the outcome of a planned operation.
Thorough planning and detailed analysis are done by these groups before resorting to such crimes. Crime is being celebrated and those who indulge in such crimes are provided support by respective religious and political groups.Religious bodies are spewing animosity based on race, religion and economics. The situation is going to become more grave if corrective measures are not taken,” he said.
12 communal incidents were reported with one death in 2017