Narcotic jihad row: After meeting Bishops, Congress bigwigs sit with Muslim leaders

K Sudhakaran and VD Satheesan
K Sudhakaran and VD Satheesan

Kozhikode: State Congress leaders on Sunday continued their meetings with heads of various communities over the 'narcotic jihad' row.

KPCC president K Sudhakaran and Leader of Opposition VD Satheesan met Samastha Kerala Jem'iyyathul Ulema leader Sayyid Muhammad Jifri Muthukkoya Thangal.

They would meet prominent Sunni leader AP Aboobacker Musliyar and Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen leader Abdulla Koya Madani later in the day.

“The controversy that started after the Pala Bishop's remarks has to be nipped in the bud,” said K Sudhakaran.

Earlier this month, Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt had triggered a controversy by stating the presence of 'love and narcotic jihad' in Kerala, which he claimed was ruining non-Muslim youth. The Bishop had made the controversial statement during a sermon at a church in Kuravilangad.

“We were worried about seeing protests and rallies in support of the issue. No one asked us, but the KPCC met and decided an intervention was necessary,” said Sudhakaran.

The KPCC chief added that over the last three days, they met Bishops of Pala, Changanassery, Verapoly and Thamarassery, besides holding talks with leaders of the Muslim community.

Sudhakaran accused Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan of turning his back to the pleas made by VD Satheesan to bring about an amicable solution to the issue.

“When it started, the opposition leader urged the CM to initiate a dialogue to bring a peaceful solution. But there has been o response and that is injustice,” said Sudhakaran.

VD Satheesan also alleged that the state government remained silent on the communal hatred being spewed online.

“Several fake accounts are spreading communal hatred on social media. The cyber police has not acted yet,” said Satheesan, who added that they don't mind the LDF government taking the credit once the matter has been resolved.

“The Sangh Parivar has a clear agenda, they want to fuel the fire. But we don't think this government has such a plan, but their actions speak otherwise,” Satheesan added.

The Congress leaders also attacked CPM leader and minister VN Vasavan for not taking a responsible stand on the issue.

“Vasavan went and met the Pala Bishop and later told the media that there was no need for any dialogue. The minister's irresponsible behaviour is unacceptable,” said Sudhakaran.

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