The Kerala Police have registered a first information report against Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar for his comments in the aftermath of a series of blasts at a convention centre of a Christian religious group in Ernakulam, reported PTI.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader was booked under Indian Penal Code Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and Section 120 (o) (causing nuisance and violation of public order) of the Kerala Police Act.
BJP Kerala chief K Surendran alleged that the action was aimed at “helping” and “encouraging” divisive forces and those with extremist views.
On Sunday, at least two big explosions occurred at a Jehovah’s Witnesses gathering in the Kalamassery municipality area. The blasts took place at around 9.30 am when around 2,500 Jehovah’s Witnesses from across the state had gathered for a prayer session at the Zamra International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Following this, Chandrasekhar said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was protesting against Israel in New Delhi while “open calls by terrorist Hamas for jihad is causing attacks and bomb blasts on innocent Christians”.
The chief minister on Sunday participated in a protest in Delhi that sought an immediate end to Israel’s war on Gaza.
Chandrasekhar, the minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, accused Vijayan of indulging in “dirty shameless appeasement politics”. At a press conference on Monday, he also alleged that Vijayan has shown tolerance towards radical elements.
He also said that the Kerala government had allowed the former chief of Hamas to address the youth of the state and “radicalise them”.
A pro-Palestinian rally was organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami’s youth wing Solidarity Youth Movement on October 27 in Malappuram. Former Hamas chief Khaled Mashal had virtually addressed the event.
Mashal had said people from across the world must support Palestinian fighters trying to “regain the Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem, one of Islam’s three holiest sites.
“Israel is taking revenge on our residents,” the former Hamas chief added. “Houses are being demolished. They have destroyed more than half of Gaza. They are destroying churches, temples, universities, and even UN institutions. What is meant by this attack is the evacuation of Gaza, and they are retaliating against it. Because the fighters in Gaza have defeated them militarily.”
The BJP had called for an investigation into the rally, claiming that the organisers were glorifying Hamas in the guise of advocating for Palestinian interests.
Police to examine Hamas leader’s speech
On Monday, Vijayan said that the police will examine the Hamas leader’s speech and described Chandrasekhar as “extremely venomous”, PTI reported.
He said that other organisations are also not denied police permission to hold an event when they approach the police, which is what happened in this case as well. “If something wrong has happened, appropriate action would be taken,” the chief minister said.
Vijayan accused Chandrasekhar of trying to find ways to lodge cases against those who are showing support for Palestine and declared that this will not be permitted in Kerala.