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Kerala CM denies police sermon that could ‘incite communal resentment’; Report

The LDF government has quickly put a stop to a problem that was threatening to escalate into a huge communal conflict. The Station House Officer (SHO) of Mayyil police station in Kannur issued a warning notice to the secretary of Juma Masjid in Kannur to desist from communally contentious Friday speeches. This suggested that mosques were a source of communal division.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan acted quickly. ‘ Such a notification was premature and against the values of the LDF administration,’CM Vijayan said in a statement released on Wednesday. DGP Anil Kant had already issued an order removing the SHO from his position. Pinarayi Vijayan’s hometown is Kannur. The notification was given in the backdrop of two BJP spokespersons allegedly insulting the Prophet.

‘In light of the reported occurrence in the country in which anti-Prophet words were uttered, it is instructed that religious speeches presented in mosques under your jurisdiction should not contain sentiments hindering religious unity or inciting communal hate.  Friday Juma prayers If the police become aware of such instances, legal action would be taken against the individuals involved,’ said the Station House Officer (SHO). The notification is addressed to the Juma Masjid secretary.


The directive’s reasoning was quickly questioned by Congress. KPCC vice-chairman VT Balram questioned the reasoning behind issuing such notifications, pointing out that there have been no recent complaints of Muslim clerics making communal statements in their post-prayer addresses. To put things in context, he recounted an occasion in which lawmaker PC George made communal remarks at a temple committee gathering in Vennala, Kochi. He also mentioned a bishop’s remark about a ‘narcotics jihad’ against a community.

Balaram said on Facebook, ‘Why was such an order given by Kerala Police just to Muslim mosques? Will Pinarayi’s police issue such notifications to temple committees, requesting that they do the same for hate-mongers like Sasikala Shikshak? (Hindu Ekya Vedi President). You will be requested to halt.’

Abdul Karim Cheleri, general secretary of the IUML Kannur district, claimed the government and police were targeting the afflicted party rather than battling the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, whose leaders made derogatory statements against the Prophet. Cheleri stated that the district police chief and the assistant commissioner of police advised him that no instructions were given by the senior police personnel to issue such notifications. He demanded that the Chief Minister and the governing CPI(M) clarify their positions on the issue.

The Chief Minister stated that his administration did not believe contentious speeches were being delivered inside mosques. ‘This is why, as soon as the situation came to light, the action was taken against the involved officer,’ added the Chief Minister. ‘This comes at a time when some factions in the country are attempting to foment large-scale communal confrontations. It is critical to safeguard the peace that exists among the devout, religious institutions, and the general public,’ Minister said.

According to a senior police officer in Kannur, the SHO was orally instructed to warn mosque administrators to exercise caution in light of remarks made by BJP spokespersons in North India. ‘ In response, the SHO issued a formal circular. The SHO has admitted his error,’ stated the officer.


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