Islamic fundamentalism has been on the rise as evidenced by the recent infamous Ambur riots during which the State Police force suffered heavily at the hands of Islamic extremists in July 2015. – Thamizhchelvan
Vellore is a city, a Municipal Corporation. It is also a Lok Sabha Constituency comprising Vellore, Anaicut Village, Kilvazhithunaiankuppam (SC), Gudiyatham, Vaniyambadi and Ambur Assembly constituencies. As per 2011 census, Vellore has 71% Hindus, 24% Muslims and 5% Christians. Ambur is a Muslim dominated constituency with Muslims comprising 61% of the population; Hindus 35% and Christians 4%. Vaniyambadi is also Muslim majority, with Muslims 76%; Hindus 22% and Christians 2% of the population.
Islamic fundamentalism has been on the rise as evidenced by the recent infamous Ambur riots during which the State Police force suffered heavily at the hands of Islamic extremists in July 2015. Similarly, in Melvisharam too, life became difficult for Hindus (Scheduled Castes and Vanniyars) in Keelvisharam alias Rasathipuram, until BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy stepped in and got them relief through the law.
Aravinth Reddy was a 36 years old young doctor with a mission to serve diabetic patients. He was district president of the Indian Medical Association, and also state secretary of the medical wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He used to host programs on health and medicine on private television channels, which made him quite famous. Reddy was renowned for conducting hundreds of medical camps in and around Vellore, under the banner “Prevention is better than cure”. His camps focused on prevention of diabetes and its treatment.
Late in evening of 23 October 2012, Reddy was slaughtered in front of his clinic. As the investigations led nowhere, the police patched up a case and claimed that Aravinth Reddy was murdered due to real estate issues. They arrested six persons and claimed that one notorious rowdy, Vasur Raja, conspired from Vellore prison and liquidated Reddy with the help of henchmen. His family rejected the theory and denied he had any real estate issues.
The documentary shows Aravinth Reddy’s father Dr. Venugopal saying, “We are not able to give any reasons for the murder. But on seeing persons belonging to his age group, I am able to cry within myself as to what he would do, what he would speak. I am speaking these in this interview due to compulsion; I am not able to express what I have in my mind and I am weeping inside. Because of my profession and my advanced age, I can only feel the pride”.
Grieving that he was living like a “walking corpse”, Dr. Venugopal says, “Whenever I call him, he would always say, I shall speak later and would hurry up the conversations with me. His expressions of hurry are still ringing in my ears. Neither am I able to desist from thinking about him, nor am I able to forget his memories”.
He laments, “For the past two years memories of him are tormenting me 24×7. We have not even kept a photograph of him in our house. But for the one in our puja room, we have removed all his photographs fearing this would trigger fresh pain and agony. We are always thinking about him and we are unable to express it openly. No one should undergo this fate”.
After going through the postmortem reports, veteran physician Dr. Chandrasekaran asserts, “My dear friend and Chairman of Indian Medical Association, Vellore Chapter, Dr. Aravinth Reddy has been brutally murdered on October 23, 2012. Examining his post-mortem reports it is obvious that many slashes have been inflicted upon his nape, on both sides of his head, on his chin; his fingertips have been cut off. On seeing this murder and that of other murdered Hindu leaders, it is … very clear that this is a Jihadi murder”.
Dr. Aravinth Reddy, a gentleman with a pleasing demeanor, was murdered for the one and only reason that he was a popular and a rising star in the BJP. Without looking into this angle, the State Police claimed it had scientifically discovered that he was murdered in connection with real estate issues.
Hindu Munnani leader Vellaiyappan (who was also subsequently murdered) had in fact told the police that Aravinth Reddy was murdered by Jihadis. Mahesh, president of Vellore City Hindu Munnani says, “Shri Vellaiyappan went and met the then Superintendent of Police Shri Easwaran. He clearly stated that the murder of Dr. Aravinth Reddy was a Jihadi murder. But the SP included some other criminals in this case and watered it down”.
Had the Police taken Vellaiyappan’s statement seriously and carried out the investigation in that direction, many Hindu leaders, including Vellaiyappan, might have been saved. Unfortunately, led by Superintendent of Police Easwaran, Deputy SP Dakshinamoorthy, Inspector Anadurai and others, police caught hold of some local goons and lodged FIRs against them. It looked as though they were in a hurry to close the case.
This deliberate and shoddy investigation was exposed when notorious terrorists Panna Ismail and Bilal Malik were apprehended after a shootout near the Andhra border. They confessed to have killed Aravinth Reddy and even identified the spot where the murder took place. Consequently, the court reserved some nasty comments for the Vellore police, and departmental action was taken against the Vellore SP and his team; the investigation was handed over to SID (Special Investigation Department) of Crime Branch CID.
Fighting tears, Aravinth Reddy’s mother says, “The police could have admitted their inability; they could have admitted that they could not find the criminals. But, on the contrary they humiliated us by terming Aravinth Reddy a real estate don! My son doesn’t like crying; he would not tolerate anyone crying; he would get angry. So, I shall not express my anguish by shedding tears”.
Quoting Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi, she says, “When you see someone doing an evil deed, do not fear child; you trample him and spit on his face! These are the immortal lines of Bharatiyar. We should bear this in mind and we should not keep silent upon seeing evil doers”.
Aravinth Reddy’s family lives with his memories….
» Visual documentation of the above can be seen in the video below from 30.03 mts to 36.15 mts
The Tamil Nadu government and its police force refused to accept the fact that Islamic extremism has been on the rise in the State. They kept insulting the Hindu majority by appeasing Islamic fundamentalists and concocting different stories for each Jihadi murder. Even while they were throwing mud on Dr. Aravinth Reddy and Paramakudi Murugan that they were real estate dons and got killed because of shady deals, Jihadis struck again in Salem, slaughtering Auditor Ramesh on 19 July 2013, just inside his office premises, when he was about to start his scooter to return home at night.
Ramesh, a chartered accountant by profession and a true swayamsevak, served as state secretary of the RSS between 1987 and 1992. He then joined the BJP. Ramesh was liked by all political parties and admired as a perfect gentleman politician. He was very active in the field and committed himself to Hindu nationalist causes. His life had been under threat since the 1990s.
The documentary shows Ramesh’s younger brother Seshadri saying, “We got information that two youth have been staying at Thammampatti. The Inspector of Thammampatti made an enquiry, filed a case against them and was about to interrogate them further. At that time, the then CB CID Inspector Khader intervened and facilitated the release of the criminals”.
Even in 1992 and 1993, Auditor Ramesh received death threats from the terrorist organization Al Ummah. Seshadri says, “We received threat letters from Al Ummah in 1992 and 93 saying that a fatwa had been issued against my brother and that it would be executed”.
Auditor Ramesh was instrumental in preventing construction of illegal mosques at Pachapatti and Gugai in Salem district. This too became a motive for his murder, says the documentary. As Ramesh’s brother Seshadri says, “There is an area in Salem called Pachapatti. There are four mosques in this area. And all these four mosques are within four km radius. Even the Moslems state that out of the four mosques, only two have been constructed legally and the rest are illegal constructions. In another area called Gugai when construction of a mosque began without any proper permission, there were questions raised and the construction was stopped. My brother Auditor Ramesh was instrumental in this”.
When BJP organized processions in support of the Ayodhya movement in Denkanikotta, the police ordered fire to disperse the processionists, leading to some deaths. Ramesh led a massive protest against the police and courted arrest. He was also instrumental in celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in many places across Salem. Ramesh fought against Love Jihad. Seshadri says, “Love Jihad is on the increase in Salem and it has to be stopped. He would conduct Vinayaka Chaturthi procession with discipline while not compromising on principles”.
Auditor Ramesh brought the first blood bank in Salem. He would go about his duties in a detached manner without caring about the accusations hurled at him. He lived the life of a karma yogi and always supported those who came knocking at his doors.
Seshadri says, “Be it persons younger or older, he would move with them pleasantly. He would enquire about their problems and attempt to solve them. He would not just do lip service for the sake of it, but would sincerely help the needy. Similarly, he would give utmost importance to discipline in the party affairs. ‘We are doing good to people, whatever people want to talk they are at liberty to talk, however ultimately the truth would be known to the world’, he would remark”.
The documentary shows a friend, Selvakumar, “Since I hail from a village, I had an inferiority complex about my rural roots. It was he who counseled me personally and guided me to what I am now”.
The film depicts veteran physician Dr. Chandrasekaran examining the postmortem report and saying, “On examining the post-mortem report of Auditor Ramesh, it is apparent that there are many cuts and slashes in his body. On the right side of his head, on its left side, then on the rear portion of the head called as parieto-occipital, on the front portion, middle area on the nape, neck; like this there are cuts in many angles too. On seeing the number of these cuts, it is more than 24 or 25. Even after he died, many cuts have been made. It is obvious that the murderers had the intention of increasing the number of cuts. Moreover there are gashes on hands and the finger tips have been chopped off. This too makes it clear that they were sure about the places they were slashing at”.
Imagine the pain and agony of the mother. She says simply, “My son was a very good soul; he was a very obedient boy. I have lost my dear child. No one should ever face such a suffering. Let all sufferings stop with me. It is very painful. My child perseveres for the well-being of everyone; but alas! Things have turned ill-fated. Did I fail in my responsibilities? I thought that I should not unduly control children who are grown up. But this has ultimately taken his life. And it has brought pain in return”.
Are these murders meant to terrorize those who tirelessly strive for the nation, asks the documentary. It says that Ramesh’s brother and friends are carrying on his incomplete task under the name of Phoenix Foundation, as Auditor Ramesh would often remark that we shall rise again and again from destruction like the Phoenix bird. Selvakumar, mentored by Ramesh, asserts his resolve to challenge terrorism and to continue the task left behind by Ramesh.
Even as Seshadri, Selvakumar and others continue from where Ramesh left, fundamentalists keep issuing threat letters that they would annihilate the family of Ramesh.
(To be continued…)
» Thamizhchelvan is an independent senior journalist in Chennai.
Visual documentation of the above can be seen in the video below from 36.16 mts to 43.48 mts.