Communist Marxist Party (CMP) leader M.V. Raghavan has called for strong action against those spreading religious extremism in the State.

The developments in the State indicated that religious extremism was strengthening. It had already assumed a frightening proportion, Mr. Raghavan told reporters here on Wednesday.

Terming religious extremism a great menace, he said strong action is required to create a fear-free atmosphere in the State. The State government should intensify investigations into cases involving religious extremist groups. Such groups had grown in the State as a result of police inaction in registering cases against them, he said. Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan should initiate action against workers of his own party indulging in making bombs and other weapons, Mr. Raghavan said.

Seeking steps to enhance security in public places, he said the government should ensure an atmosphere where people could lead a peaceful life.

Announcing that his party would launch a campaign against religious extremism, Mr. Raghavan said party workers would observe fast in all district headquarters on July 21 to mobilise public support.

He urged the media to desist from giving huge coverage to leaders of religious extremist groups. Television channels should ensure that their coverage of events and subsequent telecast does not create panic.

Asked if he would support a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI), Mr. Raghavan said he was of the view that a ban would not be an answer. He added that his view should not be construed as a position against the ban. Efforts to create public awareness against extremism are important, he said.

CMP would organise a year-long programme from this month to mark the 25th anniversary of the party.