The Kerala police on Friday (January 24) registered a case against Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Shobha Karandlaje on charges of promoting enmity between different groups.
The action comes a day after Karandlaje made an allegation that Hindus of a panchayat in Malappuram district, Kerala, were denied water as they supported the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The police said the case has been registered against the MP and a few others on a complaint from Subhash Chandran KR, a Supreme Court lawyer, while the Kuttipuram panchayat denied her charge made in the recent tweet.
Kerala is taking baby steps to become another Kashmir!
Will Lutyens telecast this intolerance of PEACEFULS frm God's Own Country!? pic.twitter.com/y0HKI4bitD
— Shobha Karandlaje (@ShobhaBJP) January 22, 2020
The police said the photos tweeted by the MP had nothing to do with CAA. It was a photo of people routinely collecting water in a scarcity-hit place.
The MP, who is also the Karnataka BJP general secretary, reacted sharply to the development saying instead of taking action over “discrimination” against Dalit families of Cherukunnu in Kuttipuram, the CPI(M) government has filed the case against her for “speaking the truth”.
BJP national IT cell head Amit Malviya and several other party leaders have tweeted in support of Karandlaje with the former alleging that Muslims “who are in majority there” were denying water to the Dalits.
Police said the case has been filed under the Indian Penal Code section 153 (A) for promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion read with section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
Making the discrimination charge, the BJP MP had on January 22 tweeted that Kerala was becoming another Kashmir.
Over the days, the tweet has been widely shared with nearly 6,000 retweets and over 8,000 likes.
Subhash Chandran approached the police seeking action against the MP and others.
Hail Kerala Govt!
Instead of acting against the discrimination happened to the dalit families of Cherukunnu, they lodged a case against me!
— Shobha Karandlaje (@ShobhaBJP) January 24, 2020
Further, the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP tweeted, “#CAA2019 has been accepted by both the houses of parliament. People who are supporting #CAA are being boycotted from business, denied of basic amenities & jobs. CPM govt is blind to all these acts happening across Kerala, but files a case against me for speaking the truth!”
The ruling Left Democratic Front convenor A Vijayaraghavan said Malappuram was a place known for communal harmony and there was no conflict between communities.
Denying the BJP leaders allegation, Kuttipuram panchayat vice-president Siddiq said there was drinking water shortage in various parts. “We have met the Malappuram district collector today and it has been decided to supply drinking water in tanker lorries to the Cherukunnu colony,” he told PTI.
Kuttipuram police said since the motor [water pump] was not functioning, the panchayat borewell was not being used for the past few months.
Seva Bharati, an NGO working among the economically weaker sections and associated with the Sangh Parivar, had supplied water to the affected families from another place for two days.
However, since the Kerala State Electricity Board raised objections as the motor was meant only for pumping water for agricultural purposes, this was stopped, the police said. Besides Malviya, Karnataka BJP leader CT Ravi and national spokesperson Sambit Patra are among those who have tweeted in support of Karnadlaje.
Coming in support for Karandlaje, Amit Malviya tweeted, “Government should focus on providing justice to Dalits of Cherukunnu, who are being denied drinking water for participating in a pro CAA rally, by the Muslims, who are in majority there.”
Shame on Pinarayi Vijayan! Instead of registering a case against BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje his government should focus on providing justice to Dalits of Cherukunnu, who are being denied drinking water for participating in a pro CAA rally, by the Muslims, who are in majority there. https://t.co/BvKotcQ8ZY
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) January 24, 2020
“Hmm… look at the Commies way of “safeguarding Constitution”, “fighting for freedom of Expression” “Saving Democracy”…book the messenger..don’t do anything about the
atrocities on the Hindus at Mallapuram!” Patra said.
(With inputs from PTI)