TN jihadis unleash violence during Ganesh Chaturthi
This is the second part of a three part series of articles. You can read the first part here.
The jihadi outfits became increasingly aggressive on account of the docility of the DMK regime and during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations tried to block placement of Vinayagar Vigrahas, thwart visarjan processions and stone Vigrahas during processions. Attacks on and protests against Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations have increased annually since 2006 and have been reported in pro-DMK Tamil dailies like Dinakaran, Tamizh Murasu and TV channels such as SUN TV and Raj TV. This year however, witnessed widespread violence unleashed by jihadi outfits during Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, which drew the attention of the media.
Military training to cadre is a major feature of these outfits. In April 2008, Tamil daily Dinamani reported that MNP was giving ‘military training’ (fully uniformed with arms) to around 1000 cadre (50 from each district) to conduct a ‘Freedom Parade’ on August 15, 2008 (Independence Day), as a show of ‘patriotism’! The outfit has recruited over 25000 cadre in four years and military training is being imparted to 300 cadre from each district. Though MNP claims to focus on ‘human rights’ and ‘social service’, the daily reported that the ‘Q’ branch police is keeping a watch on its activities. When the MNP took out a rally in Madurai last Republic Day, its wall advertisements reportedly carried the flag of the banned outfit JKLF!
Similar incidents were reported from Karnataka and Kerala.
The pro-Islamic Governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala allowed these outfits to conduct the so-called freedom parade in Kumbakonam and Idukki, which was reported on numerous Muslim websites, including twocircles, freedomparade and dailymuslimnews. BS Yeddyurappa’s (BJP) Government allowed a ‘freedom parade’ in Mangalore in 2008; but refused permission in 2009 for Mysore, a communally sensitive town. Though these organisations claim to be ‘patriotic’ and celebrate the Independence Day, they created unrest and try to incite communal violence in the name of the Babri anniversary. Planned protest demonstrations on December 6, 2008 in major cities and towns led to the detention of over 7000 activists. The Pakistani connection of TMMK and Tamil Nadu Towheed Jamaat (TNTJ) is evident from the fact that their activities are reported in Pakistani media.
On February 19, 2009, the Tamil daily Dinamalar reported that the Popular Front of India had organised a massive ‘National Political Conference’ in Calicut (February 13-15 2009), which was attended by member organisations, such as Karnataka for Dignity, Manitha Neethi Pasarai, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), National Development Front, etc. It was attended by thousands of cadre and the conference theme was ‘Power for People’. Incidentally, the TMMK had just then inaugurated its political wing named Manithaneya Makkal Matchi (MMM) meaning ‘Humane People Party'; its leaders also participated in the Calicut conference. Around the same time, Taliban conducted huge rallies in Swat Valley of Pakistan for two days.
In 2011, the AIADMK, which was widely perceived as opposed to terror activities, did an about-turn and aligned with Manitha Neya Makkal Katchi, the political arm of TMMK, known for its active terror cells and behind the murder of Kumara Pandian and his brothers in Tenkasi. The AIADMK alliance with Muslim outfits and communists swept the 2011 Assembly election; now fundamentalist groups behave as if they are the ruling party.
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Sandhya Jain is a political analyst and independent researcher. She is the author of ‘Adi Deo Arya Devata- A Panoramic View of Tribal-Hindu Cultural Interface’ (Rupa & Co., 2004) and ‘Evangelical Intrusions. Tripura: A Case Study’ (Rupa & Co., 2009).