Thiruvananthapuram

I too was wearing black: Salim Kumar

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TV channel brands college students as terrorists for black attire-themed fete

When they all wore black attire and accorded a celebratory welcome to actor Salim Kumar to their campus a few months ago, the students of C.H. Mohammed Koya College for Advanced Study in Varkala would not have imagined that the attire would lead a news channel to brand them as terrorists, much later.

A short video of the college annual day celebration, which took place on March 14 this year, was telecast on a television channel on Friday, as the “latest example of Islamic State-Al Qaeda terrorism taking root on Kerala campuses”. However, officials of the Ayiroor police station dismissed these allegations and said it was a harmless celebration. Actor Salim Kumar too came out sharply criticising the report.

“The students had invited me to the college and told me that I should wear black as it was also a tribute to my character in CID Moosa. They welcomed me at the junction near the college, with all of them in black, accompanying me as a procession,” he says.

No sloganeering

“It is unfortunate that it has been twisted this way because it is a Muslim management college. The students did not indulge in any sloganeering as claimed by the channel. It is also funny that all the students have been branded as terrorists. Even I was wearing black. Today, the channel came to interview me and I told them what had happened,” Salim Kumar says.

According to Ayiroor SI Sajeev, there was nothing provocative in the celebration organised by the students.

Only typical drawings

“Following the report, we had visited the college. We also inspected the toilets as the television report claimed that these had suspicious drawings supporting terrorism. We found only typical drawings found on campuses, with danger signs, pirate faces, and other scribblings. The video of the celebration also did not have anything suspicious,” he says.

A. Shaheer, General Secretary of the Muslim Education Trust for Coastal Area that runs the college, says the college will initiate legal action against the defamatory report.

“It is suspicious how they had made up this story based on an old celebratory video. The flags shown in the video are our own department’s flags, not IS flags as claimed in the report. More than 75% of our faculty and a majority of the students are from communities other than Muslim. We are a secular institution. Today, all of the old students had to be summoned to the college to give statements to the Intelligence Bureau and the Special Branch. Our faculty and our alumni are all deeply hurt by this malicious propaganda to harm our institution,” he says.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:09:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/i-too-was-wearing-black-salim-kumar/article25867460.ece

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