7 – Tamil Nadu in the grip of Jihad – Thamizhchelvan

Kumarapandian

Journalist “One of the murder suspects, Abdullah, is a recent convert. Another suspect was only 18 years old when he committed the barbaric act. This is a classic example of the poison of terrorism being planted in the minds of youth and children.” — Thamizhchelvan

Would those who commit murder for wearing religious marks spare those who raise their voices for the cause of temples? Posing this question, the documentary presents the gruesome murder of four brothers who attempted to protect the temple in their home town.

Tenkasi, the second largest town in Tirunelveli district, is a ‘municipality’, located close to Courtallam. The town got its name Tenkasi, meaning ‘Kashi of the South’, as it has a Kasi Viswanath Temple. The town was founded by Dyan kings and the temple was built by Parakrama Pandya. Hindus comprise 62% of the population; Muslims are 35% and Christians 3%.

Kumarapandian hailed from a traditional Hindu family. He had five brothers. He was also a member of Hindu Munnani.

Kumarapandian of TenkasiWhen local Muslims wanted to construct a mosque on Viswanathar Temple Street, the government, anticipating trouble and communal problems, refused permission. Ignoring this, however, the Muslims attempted to construct the mosque. Kumarapandian opposed this strongly. Thereafter, he was murdered on 17 December 2006.

Opposing construction of the mosque seems to be a reason for his murder, but there are other reasons also. On the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the Muslims organized a protest demonstration. Although the police had earlier denied permission for the Kumarapandian's wifestatewide protest demonstrations on 6 December, they later yielded and gave sanction to fundamentalist organisations. Kumarapandian opposed this too.

He also attempted to start an ambulance service for the poor, which was not liked by the fundamentalists, as they feared competition to such a service being undertaken by them. “While they hacked him, the jihadis uttered these words openly…. You are creating obstacles in the path of mosque construction and you are buying ambulance to compete with us; saying these very words they attacked him with scythes,” Kumarapandian’s brother Ravi Pandian stated.

Another brother, Sakthi Pandian, points out that those behind the gory murder of Kumarapandian have not been identified so far: “Cases have been registered against three persons, namely, Haneefa, Abdullah and Sayed Sulaiman. However, till date, those behind the murders have not been brought to light”.

What is pathetic is the fact that the murder case has not come for trial in court. Advocate Socrates says, “The case has not come even for the argument stage. Since those involved in the murder of Kumarapandian are also involved in the Bengaluru bomb blast case and are absconding, this case has so Kashi Vishwanath Shiva Temple of Tenkasifar not come to the court for arguments”.

One of the suspects, Abdullah, is a recent convert. Another suspect was only 18 years old when he committed the barbaric act. This is a classic example of the poison of terrorism being planted in the minds of youth and children. Advocate Socrates says, “One of the criminals, who was an accused in this murder, is Murugesan alias Abdullah; he had converted to Islam recently and had committed this murder”.

In the meantime, the police sent the 18-year-old boy to a juvenile home under the Child Welfare Board and the other two were taken in judicial custody. Abdullah and Haneefa petitioned the High Court against polygraph test, brain mapping test and narco analysis test, arguing that such tests are violative of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and it would amount to testimonial compulsion. But the High Court ordered in favour of the police and dismissed the petition of the accused. Yet, since then, the case has not moved even an inch.

Kumarapandian's motherMeanwhile, tragedy again struck the family of Kumarapandian. His elder brother Sekar and younger brothers, Suresh and Senthil, who continued the agitation against construction of the mosque from where Kumarapandian left it, were also brutally murdered in the busy thoroughfares of Tenkasi. Showing the forlorn mother of the Pandian brothers, the documentary asks, “What is the panacea for the pain and sufferings of this mother, who lost her four sons?”

Sekar’s daughter was studying well and wanted to become a chartered accountant. The documentary asks, “What is the future of this girl who dreams to be a chartered accountant?”

Feeling the absence of her father and his motivation, the girl says with firm resolve, “I like to study for CA and I have told about this to my father too. My father used to encourage me a lot, but now there is none to Sekar Pandian's Son & Daughterdo so. However, I shall strive hard”. Her mother, Sekar’s wife, says, “I somehow borrow money and educate my children”.

When Kumarapandian was murdered, his wife was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. Having lost her four sons and seeing her daughters-in-law and grandchildren suffering, Kumarapandian’s mother says, “We were happy and lived in peace. All these were brought to an abrupt end by them. What can we do? I just draw solace looking at the faces of those surviving”.

Four brothers have sacrificed their precious lives for a public cause. The terrorists who have murdered them have not been punished so far; the case has not come up for trial.

Meanwhile, the fundamentalists persist in their attempt to construct the mosque. Construction materials can reportedly be seen at the site and work is allegedly going on. No tangible action has been taken so far by the authorities.

(To be continued…)

» Thamizhchelvan is an independent senior journalist in Chennai.

Sekar, and younger brothers Suresh and Senthil

Kumarapandian's brothers Suresh and Senthil

The visual documentation of the above text can be seen in the video below from 8.20 mts to 13.25 mts.

One Response

  1. The Hindus will have to fight their battle for themselves. No political party shall come to the rescue of the beleaguered Hindus. And for this we need to resolve to come together, shed our caste differences and unite to fight the ever increasing menace of Muslim fundamentalists. In absence of such resolve, the future of Hinduism is bleak.

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