Kerala must hand over info on bishop’s claim, says Union Minister

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said here on Saturday that the claims made by Pala bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangatt should be taken up with due seriousness and the Kerala government should hand over information it had on the issue to the Union Home Ministry for investigation.

The Pala bishop had alleged that there were instances of “narcotics jihad” in which a particular community tried to entice young people from other communities through the sale of addictive substances.

‘Serious allegations’

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan initially claimed that he was hearing of “narcotics jihad” for the first time, alleged Mr. Muraleedharan. “The Chief Minister also alleged that the bishop’s statement could create communal disharmony. The BJP stands for peace and harmony in society but when such serious allegations are raised, they should be properly investigated,” he said.

Mr. Muraleedharan was addressing a meet-the-press programme in Kochi organised by the Ernakulam Press Club on his arrival from Algeria, where he was on a three-day official visit.

He said the bishop had made such a claim before the members of his community. “Similar information has been shared in the CPI(M) party fora in the past,” he claimed, and termed the Chief Minister’s stance political hypocrisy. He said that extremist elements should be distanced by the community as a whole. No one had the right to insult or accuse an entire community of people.

He added that efforts would continue to evacuate Indians stranded in Afghanistan. “India has a deep and abiding relationship with the the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 11:30:06 PM |

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