The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation (NCHRO) delegation reached the violence-ravaged area on 20-March-2017 and expressed deep concern over violent incidents between rival political factions at Tanur in Malappuram district, Kerala.
Political violence and abuses reportedly committed by ruffians both from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). Both parties are intransigent to an extent that they think they can defeat each other.
The matter of police excesses, police atrocities and destruction of properties were reported and visible, Police who should have protected the people, also participated in the attacks in some places and refused to register cases against the culprits.
The delegation noted that the inciting statements or pronouncements including fake news peddled by certain individuals, political actors and other interest and pressure groups escalating minor issues to violent attacks.
Reni Aylin, National Secretary, NCHRO, said that . “There had been political violence in the area ever since the culmination of the local body elections. With the CPI(M) scoring an upset win in the ensuing Assembly elections from the Tanur seat, it escalated. The CPI(M), IUML, and two factions of a major Muslim group are mainly responsible for it. Though the police are registering cases against the culprits, real offenders go scot-free owing to the secret understanding between leaders,” he alleged.
‘Grow’ Vasu, social activist, alleged that the political and community leaders in the area were controlled by the drug-liquor mafia. “Most of the residents there are ordinary fishermen. The attackers perpetrated violence in the night. Fishing equipment were destroyed. Money and valuables were stolen from houses and household articles were set on fire,” he said.
It was observed the deplorable conditions under which people live after the incident where women and children mostly affected and most of the men disappeared from the area and reports of police summarily in violence while conducting door-to-door operations in houses, highlight the need for an independent investigation into the incidents in the region.
A lack of confidence in the police and other authorities, and the fact that only a fraction of crimes are investigated and the perpetrators punished, leads political parties to take matters into their own hands.And impunity generates new violence.
NCHRO delegation touched on critical issues of accountability, particularly in respect of previous and current violence and demanded fair investigations, book culprits and compensation for the victims.
Reconciliation and Healing is the need of the hour where deep-seated mutual mistrust between the groups still visible. NCHRO held a press conference with the visit report on 21-March-2017. NCHRO Kerala State President Vilayodi Shivankutty, MK Sharafudheen NCHRO EXCO member etc. were also present.