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Kerala: Probe ordered into exclusion of two Muslim cops

October 16, 2008 18:52 IST

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Even as the Kerala [Images] government ordered a probe into the exclusion of two Muslim policemen from security duty during the recent visit of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Kishenchand Advani [Images] to the state, the issue continues to spark protests from various political parties and Muslim outfits.

Mainstream Muslim political parties including the Indian Union Muslim League as well as a host of semi-political and cultural outfits of the community have come out angrily dubbing the incident as a "slur on the secular image of the country."

The Left also joined the protests demanding a comprehensive probe into the reports that the Special Protection Group had role in it.

The BJP itself condemned the incident. Kerala BJP president P K Krishnadas held the Left Democratic Front government squarely responsible for the episode and saw it as an attempt to damage Advani's image.

"It is a shame that this sort of a thing had happened in Kerala where the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist always indulges in hollow rhetoric on secularism by claiming themselves as the sole champion of minority rights," Krishnadas told PTI.

Kozhikode City Police Commissioner Anup Kuruvila John's explanation on the withdrawal of two Muslim drivers from the motorcade of Advani has failed to end the controversy.

The explanation was that the two policemen were among 12 drivers chosen for the motorcade and participated in the trial runs. Since Advani's motorcade had only six vehicles it required only as many drivers.

It was a normal practice that more drivers were chosen during the trial rounds and religion did not come at all in the selection of personnel for duty, the police said.

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