C.M. Abdulla Moulavi (75), Islamic scholar and Khasi of his native Chembirikka in Kasaragod and Mangalore, was found drowned in the sea near his residence at Chembirikka in the early hours of Monday.

The body was taken to the Pariyaram Medical College Hospital for post-mortem examination, as the Islamic scholar was allegedly found dead in a mysterious circumstance.

Mr. Abdulla, Vice-president of the Samastha Kerala Jamiyathul Ulama, and Khasi of scores of mosques under the 'mahallus' (equivalent to parishes) at Chembirikka and Mangalore, was found washed up in water near a raised rocky area overlooking the sea. The body was found by some local fishermen and was identified after it was brought ashore, the police said. His walking stick and footwear were found on the rocky spot.

The police said that the Khasi was suspected to have drowned, after he fell into the water during his morning walk due to some ailment.

Quoting his family members, the police said that the Moulavi had gone to sleep in his bedroom on Sunday night. He had been under medical treatment for some time and taking rest at home, the police said.

The body was brought to the PMCH for autopsy as local people alleged foul play in the death of Abdulla Moulavi. It was said that he had no habit of going for morning walks.

Hundreds of people rushed to the residence of the Moulavi on hearing about the tragedy.

The deceased was the founder president of the Malabar Islamic Complex at Chattanchal in Kasaragod. The body would be buried at the khabarstan (cemetery) of the Chembirikka Juma Masjid. He had beenserving as head of various local religious committees and institutions at the time of his death.

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