Leaders of political parties, including the constituents of the ruling DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance and Muslim outfits, have criticised the BJP’s perceived attempt to politicise the Coimbatore car blast, in which a Muslim youth, suspected to be the mastermind behind an alleged terror plot, was killed.
A section of BJP leaders has called for a bandh in Coimbatore on October 31.
Manithaneya Makkal Katchi president M.H. Jawahirullah told The Hindu on Friday that secular and democratic forces had a responsibility to counter the BJP which, he alleged, was carrying out propaganda to isolate Muslims on the issue.
“All secular political parties have condemned the incident. The perpetrators have been found and explosives have been seized. However, it is important to find out who funded these people, provided them with logistics and directed them. At the same time, secular parties have a responsibility to isolate the BJP and its propaganda,” he said.
VCK MLA Aloor Shanawaz said the Muslim community in Coimbatore had shown its commitment to opposing such acts by fully cooperating with the investigating agencies and the State government.
“Within 12 hours, the police have taken appropriate steps, which has been acknowledged by most political parties. It is the BJP which is trying to fan the flames by holding press meets and creating confusion. This time around, there is no fear among Muslims that innocent people will be picked up, and even traders have opposed the bandh called by the BJP. Every political party is cautious so as to not inflame the situation, except the BJP,” he claimed.
TNCC president K.S. Alagiri slammed the BJP for calling for a bandh despite the State government having taken appropriate action and the State police earning appreciation from all quarters for their unbiased action.
“The State police department has been taking unbiased steps regarding the Coimbatore car cylinder blast. The State government has handed over the case to the NIA. Calling for a bandh despite all this is an attempt to gain political mileage by causing communal unrest. I strongly condemn this,” he said.
SDPI State president Nellai Mubarak urged the BJP to withdraw the bandh call and criticised BJP State president Annamalai [who has denied giving the bandh call] for supposedly dictating how the State government must deal with the situation.
“Mr. Annamalai is dictating what the State government must do, and the State government is responding to him,” he said, while criticising the State’s decision to hand over the probe to the NIA.
“NIA and UAPA (law) have been spoiling the lives of innocent people. Electricity Minister Senthilbalaji has said it is simply a cylinder explosion. So why does the need for an NIA investigation arise? The BJP is blowing the issue out of proportion using Central agencies,” he claimed.
“We want democracy. In Coimbatore, we will promote peace and harmony along with other democratic forces. Isolating religious forces is necessary,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Annamalai attacked the DMK for burning his effigies but refusing to talk about the Coimbatore blast.
“Instead of DMK cadres wasting time by parading & burning my effigies, request them to ask their @arivalayam party President & @CMOTamilnadu to speak about the #CoimbatoreBlast. That will be a genuine service to the people of Tamil Nadu,” he tweeted.