Mangaluru: Political killings! The phrase naturally draws your attention towards the politically motivated murders of neighbouring Kerala. The reason is that no political party in Dakshina Kannada so far considered the gruesome killings of several budding Congress leaders in the district seriously. Not to mention all the five murdered Congress leaders in this coastal district of Karnataka belonged to Muslim community.
Blood for blood is an unwritten rule among the gangsters. However, in Dakshina Kannada, several promising local Muslim leaders of Congress party who had no criminal records have been hacked to death by the notorious criminals in the past two decades.
Malluru Hameed, a budding Congress leader in Bantwal taluk, who was also a close aide of party veteran B Ramanath Rai, was the first Muslim political leader to be targeted in the district in late 1990s.
After a few years, M D Abdul Jabbar, who was the president of Mangaluru Taluk Panchayat, was hacked to death at the TP office premises in the heart of the city on May 16, 2003 before the eyes of his wife and daughter. He had come to TP office after attending Juma prayers in a local mosque and was about to get into a jeep when three persons armed with lethal weapons attacked him.
Notorious rowdy Polali Ananthu led gang, which had close links with the saffron outfits, was responsible for both the murders. Even after the elimination of Ananthu and his associates by rival gang members, the bloodshed did not end in Dakshina Kannada. The bloodthirsty anti social elements not only targeted rival gang members but also continued to eliminate political leaders and other individuals who had no links with the criminal world.
A few months after Ananthu was murdered, another local Congress leader and president of the Sangabettu Gram Panchayat Abdul Rahman was hacked to death by a gang of miscreants in Bantwal taluk (August 30, 2005). He was also a close aide of Ramanath Rai.
In 2016, the district witnessed murder of another local Muslim politician. Mohammed Ismaeel (52), a leader of Congress Minorities Cell and husband of Waheeda Ismail, former president of Bellare Grama Panchayat was hacked to death by miscreants near a mosque after Juma prayers on September 23, 2016 at Ivarnadu in Sullia taluk. Though it turned out to be a case of personal rivalry over a land dispute, the accused in the case are not yet convicted.
The recent murder of Abdul Jaleel, vice president of Karopadi Gramp Panchayat in Bantwal taluk (April 20, 2017) has once again sent shockwaves across the district. The failure of the district police to arrest the accused in the case even after a week has led to anger and frustration among people.
Even though the above five murder cases apparently have no connections with each other, now questions are being raised over the possibility of a major conspiracy against the young Muslim politicians in the district. According to DYFI leader Muneer Katipalla, senior leaders of Congress never took these murders seriously. Leaders of Popular Front of India and Social Democratic Party of India too are now pointing fingers at thedon't care' attitude of Congress veterans.
Who's behind the killings of 5 Muslim politicians in Dakshina Kannada?