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Kerala blasts: Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar booked for alleged controversial remarks; BJP slams move

The party said it would face the case against the central minister both politically and legally

PTI Kochi Published 31.10.23, 12:57 PM
Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajeev Chandrasekhar File

A case has been registered against Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar for allegedly making statements that promote enmity between different groups, a move which was slammed by the BJP on Tuesday.

BJP Kerala chief K Surendran alleged that this action by the Pinarayi Vijayan government was aimed at "helping" and "encouraging" divisive forces and those with extremist views.


"It indicates the double standards of the Pinarayi Vijayan government," he said while speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

The party said it would face the case against the central minister both politically and legally.

The Kerala police registered the FIR on its own in connection with the minister's recent statements on social media regarding the Kochi blasts and a Hamas leader's virtual address at an event organised by an Islamist group in Malappuram district of the state recently.

A senior officer of Kochi city police said an FIR under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) of the IPC and section 120 (o) (causing nuisance and violation of public order) of the Kerala Police Act has been registered against the minister.

Surendran also slammed the Left government and the police for not registering a case against CPI(M) state secretary M V Govindan for terming the Kochi bomb blasts as a 'terrorist act.' He also pointed out that no case was registered against IUML MLA M K Muneer and CPI(M) leader M Swaraj for hailing the recent Hamas attack on Israel.

The BJP leader further alleged that the government was not ready to register a case against the Islamist group that organised an event in Malappuram district of the state recently where a Hamas leader virtually addressed the gathering.

"But they are registering a case against a central minister who spoke out against the same. This (FIR) is a heinous decision based on vote bank politics. It is aimed at making political gains during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections," he alleged.

The BJP leader also claimed that the case against the central minister was registered to appease those who are against the country and not those who love the nation.

After reports of the bomb blasts at a religious gathering of Jehovah's Witnesses in Kalamassery near here came out on Sunday, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Chandrasekhar put up posts on social media platform X criticising Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

"Dirty shameless appeasement politics by a discredited CM (and HM) @pinarayivijayan besieged by corruption charges. Sitting in Delhi and protesting against Israel, when in Kerala open calls by Terrorist Hamas for Jihad is causing attacks and bomb blasts on innocent Christians," he had said.

Following this, a verbal duel took place on Monday between the CM and Chandrasekhar with the BJP leader calling Vijayan a "liar" and he in turn lashing out and terming the MoS "extremely venomous".

The CM also said that if anyone makes statements which are in violation of the law, irrespective of whether they are central or state ministers, cases would be registered against them.

Meanwhile, the Congress has lodged a complaint with the State Police Chief against Chandrasekhar, BJP National Secretary Anil K Antony, Govindan, former Ernakulam MP Sebastian Paul, former BJP spokesperson Sandeep G Varier and Trinamool Congress Southern Indian Chapter Convener Riva Tholoor Philip for allegedly making hate comments aimed at flaring up communal enmity in the state.

The complaints were made by Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee's (KPCC) Digital Media Cell Convener Sarin P.

He has sought appropriate legal action against them for ensuring peace in the state.

The blasts were set off at a convention centre in Kalamassery near Kochi where a prayer meeting of the Jehovah's Witnesses -- a Christian religious group that originated in the US in the 19th century -- was held on Sunday.

A few hours after that, Martin, who claimed to be an estranged member of Jehovah's Witnesses, surrendered before police in Thrissur district of the state, saying that he carried out the multiple blasts.

Initially, one woman had died and 60 were injured, six of them critically, in the blasts.

Subsequently, one of the six critically wounded -- a 53-year-old woman -- succumbed to her injuries.

By Monday morning, the death toll rose to three with the death of a 12-year-old girl who had suffered 95 per cent burns in the incident.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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