Cong govt’s attitude discriminatory:BJP

BJP today termed as “discriminatory” Congress-led UDF government’s decision to register a case against SNDP general secretary Vellapally Natesan for allegedly fanning communal sentiments through his speech at Aluva in Kochi.

Throwing its weight behind Natesan, BJP said the SNDP general secretary did not “defame” one Noushad, who died last week after inhaling poisonous gas inside a manhole while trying to save two labourers from the pit in Kozhikode.

“Natesan did not defame Noushad. He was pointing out religious discrimination shown by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in giving financial assistance to the victims of tragedies in the state. We all support his views,” BJP state President V Muraleedharan told reporters at Kozhikode.

Referring to the assistance offered to Noushad’s family by the state government, Natesan, who is leading ‘Samathwa Munnetta Yatra’ to unite Hindu caste outfits, had alleged that the UDF government was giving financial assistance to families of mishap victims on the basis of caste and religion.

His statement had triggered a row with Congress and CPI(M) demanding strong action against the SNDP chief, alleging that his intention was to divide people on communal lines.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said yesterday that a case has been registered at a police station at Aluva near Kochi where Natesan had allegedly made the speech.

The case lodged under IPC Section 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth and language) is punishable with imprisonment for three years.

Questioning action against Natesan, Muraleedharan asked, why didn’t government take case against Idukki Bishop who made similar statement amounting to hurting the sentiments of a major Hindu community couple of months ago.

“Government’s action against Natesan reveals that Chandy is treating people on the basis of religion,” he said.

BJP later visited the bereaved family of Noushad and praised his brave action.

Meanwhile, Natesan today hailed efforts made by Noushad to save the lives of two labourers trapped in the manhole.

In a facebook post, he said he was happy about government’s decision to provide assistance to the bereaved family.

He said his intention was to flay government’s discriminatory attitude in giving assistance to the families of people from the tribal community in similar situations and families of soldiers dying of bullets while guarding nation’s borders.

Noushad’s mother Afnavi said she was pained by Natesan’s statement. “He did not expect any remuneration while trying to save two lives,” she said in Kozhikode.