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Coastal Kerala getting 'de-Hinduised:' RSS

George Iype in Kochi | July 10, 2003 18:02 IST

The Hindu population in coastal Kerala has been reduced to 'less than 20 per cent,' if one goes by the 'assessment' of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Kerala unit.

The 'assessment' was submitted during the national RSS convention -- the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal -- at Kanyakumari last week.

The RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad claim the state's coastal regions are getting 'de-Hinduised.'

Two months ago, Marad village in north Kerala witnessed one of the worst communal killings in the state's history. Nine people -- eight Hindus and one Muslim -- were killed and several others injured when a group of some 50 people armed with swords, knives and countrymade bombs attacked the village.

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Based on its state unit's assessment, the RSS leadership asked the central and state governments to take urgent measures to strengthen Coast Guard surveillance around the Kerala coast.

The RSS leadership also issued a resolution that said areas around the state's Muslim-dominated Malappuram district have become 'completely Islamised.'

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The RSS resolution said though some 35 Hindu organisations across the country demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the Marad carnage, the A K Antony government continues to dodge the demand because of political pressure from the Muslim League, a member of the ruling coalition in Kerala.

VHP Kerala Secretary Kummanam Rajasekharan told rediff.com: "An Islamic religious conspiracy is on to drive out Hindus from the Kerala coast." He alleged that anti-national outfits like Al-Umma and Laskhar-e-Tayiba are "actively engaged" in Kerala at the behest of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence agency to drive out Hindus from  coastal areas.

But Muslim leaders reject the charges. Kerala Industry Minister P K Kunjalikutty dubs the RSS-VHP findings "false."

"Kerala is one place where one religious community does not fear the other. We do not have any reports which say  Hindus have fled the coastal regions due to fear of Muslims," he told rediff.com.

The minister said BJP leaders are trying to scuttle the rehabilitation of Muslim families in Marad village. Nearly 400 families, most of them Muslims, fled Marad after the killings.

While the state police arrested most of those accused of the killings, the rehabilitation of Muslim families has led to stiff resistance from local Hindu groups, making it a troublesome issue for the Antony government.

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