Normal life in four western districts of Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tirupur and Erode came to a standstill on Friday following a dawn-to-dusk hartal called by various Hindu outfits. The strike was in protest against continued attacks on temples and leaders of Hindu organisations by various outfits masquerading as political parties.
What stood out this time was the decision of various Mutt heads to join the agitation. This is the first time Hindu monks came out openly supporting a hartal. Shops remained closed and public transport came to a grinding halt in all the districts. Pollachi, the agricultural town in Coimbatore saw pelting of stones at buses.
“Since November 2012, we have been seeing attacks on leaders of various Hindu outfits by workers and hired gangs of the Popular Front and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), both representing hardline Islamic views,” said RSS spokesman J Sri Ram. He said the last fortnight saw many Hindu households coming under attack by the members and activists of these parties.
Last week saw the house of Arjun Sampath, leader of Hindu Makkal Party coming under attack. A petrol bomb was thrown at the residence of Sampath who had a providential escape. “I questioned the action of a SDPI councillor who damaged the portion of a 1000-year-old temple in Coimbatore. The SDPI ward member asked that the temple festival should not be held without the concurrence of the Coimbatore corporation authorities,” said Sampath.
Former Coimbatore MP and BJP leader CP Radhakrishnan said Hindus are selectively assaulted by the Islamic outfits. “A marriage hall where a wedding reception was in progress was attacked by SDPI workers. The police looked the other way when a complaint was filed,” said Radhakrishnan. He disclosed that Coimbatore district alone saw 23 love jehads during the last two years.
“Incidents of teenaged Hindu girls eloping with their boyfriends and get converted to Islam are on the rise in these districts. Though we are trying to counsel the young girls, they are yet to understand the nuances involved in these inter-faith marriages,” said Swamy Kumara Guruparar of Koumara Mutt. Swamy, an apolitical person, blamed a section of the minorities for the attacks on Hindu leaders and households. “They have unleashed a reign of terror in Tamil Nadu,” he added.
The house of H Raja too came under the attack by some militant organisations. “Muslim Manithaneya Katchi, a political outfit floated by Islamic militants, is an ally of the AIADMK Government. Its leader Jawaharullah is a member of Tamil Nadu Assembly and wield enormous power in southern districts,” said Sampath.
He said the Islamic outfits have been encouraged by the Government’s move to ask the director of the movie Tuppakki to delete certain scenes. “Even the Viswaroopam row ended up with these organisations having the last laugh. The Government itself is helpless in handling these organisations,” he said.
Swamy Marudachala Adikalar of Perur Elayapattam, said the Islamic militancy in the region dates back to the early 70s. “We maintained silence all these years. The time has come to speak out openly since more and more activists and leaders of Hindu organisations are coming under attack,” said the Swamy.
Both Radhakrishnan and Sampath pointed out that colonies with Islamic names are mushrooming all over the textile city. “Billal Nagar and Ahmed Nagar sprang up overnight. The earlier name of these entities was Kruparajan Koil Street. One need not elaborate how they sprang up,” said Sampath.
According to Radhakrishnan, there is lack of coordination between police and intelligence department. “There is no understanding and cohesion between them. Isn’t it surprising to note that nobody has been arrested till date for these attacks?” asked Radhakrishnan.