Sunday, October 08, 2006

CPI-M blamed for Marad violence

CPI-M blamed for Marad violence

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala's former chief minister A.K. Antony yesterday said the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) was "the accused No 1" in the Marad sectarian carnage of 2003 that happened during his tenure.

CPI-M state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had on Wednesday described Antony as "the accused No 1"‚ in the incident in which nine people were killed.

He specifically pointed out that in spite of intelligence reports about the possibility of the flare-up, Antony had failed to take precautionary steps.

Replying to the charge, Antony pointed out that the report itself said that most of the people involved in the incident were workers of the CPI-M and the party always tried to shield them.

Antony said the CPI-M's hands were "stained with the blood" of the 2002 riot at Marad, which preceded the 2003 incident. If there was no violence in 2002, there would not have been any in 2003, he added.

On Pinarayi's charge that Antony as chief minister was primarily responsible for the violence, Antony said the judicial probe into the incident had brought to light the fact that CPI-M had sought to derive political mileage out of the communal divide in the area.

As many as 79 accused in the first Marad violence were CPI-M workers. The Commission had clearly stated that peace efforts between the two communities in the area was not to the liking of the CPI-M, which wanted to exploit communal polarisation in the area, Antony observed. Antony claimed his government acted swiftly to check the spread of violence after the 2003 incident.
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