Kerala BJP writes to Home Ministry seeking protection for Pala Bishop over ‘narcotics jihad’ remark
Thiruvananthapuram/IBNS: The Kerala BJP has written to Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking protection for Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, who they alleged was being threatened by a group of extremists for his 'narcotics jihad' comment, according to media reports.
The BJP's Kerala leadership alleged that the “extremist” elements entered the Bishop’s home and threatened him of attacking him physically.
In a letter dated September 11, BJP general secretary George Kurian wrote that the Bishop and the Christian community were facing threat and sought Shah's intervention to take necessary action to protect them.
On September 9, the bishop of Pala Diocese of the Syro-Malabar church, addressing a church ceremony in Kottayam, said after “love jihad”, Catholic girls were being lured into committing extremist activities with the help of drugs, according to a Hindustan Times report.
He called them victims of “narcotics jihad” and urged the parents to be careful.
“Wherever arms are not used, narcotic drugs are being used and Catholic girls turn victims. Some groups are functioning in the state to help them. To understand this, one needs to analyse how women from other religions landed in the Islamic State camps,” he said, according to the HT report.
So far, ‘Love jihad’ has been used by mostly Hindu right wing groups for describing inter-religious unions.
The bishop alleged the state government is turning a blind eye to instances of ‘love jihad’.
The bishop's accusations have been heavily criticised by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Slamming the bishop, Vijayan said he has coined a new term "narcotic jihad" and he has no idea what prompted the bishop to make such a comment.
"Narcotics has no religion and nobody encourages it,” Vijayan added.
“Persons holding such respectable positions should be careful while making such a statement. It will create unnecessary rift and animosity,” he added.
Congress legislator and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly VD Satheesan also appealed to religious leaders to make sure that their comments do not disturb religious harmony.
“We can’t count the number of crimes based on caste or religion. Such a statement was not expected from a religious leader. All will have to keep restraint to ensure brotherhood and peace,” he said.
State BJP president K Surendran said ‘narcotics jihad’ was a reality. The Christian community in the state has made similar allegations.
According to the Hindustan Times report, Muslim political groups in the state like Samasta Kerala Sunni Students Federation (SKSSF) and Kerala Naduvathul Mujahideen have asked the bishop to produce evidence to prove his claims.