‘Compassionate’ government; perilous state; pathetic people - I
by B R Haran on 05 Oct 2009 1 Comment

‘Compassionate’ Karunanidhi
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s concern for ‘humanity’, ‘humaneness’ and ‘human rights’ is beyond compare, and no contemporary leader can match him in this regard. Observers of Tamil Nadu politics would never forget the humane touch with which he dealt with sandalwood-brigand Veerappan. He was so sincere in serving the ‘Tamil cause’ that he allegedly once said, “I would wholeheartedly welcome the extremism by Tamil extremists if it is for a Tamil cause.” That was how he nurtured LTTE, Veerappan and other Tamil extremist organisations during his past tenures. Being a champion of equality and social justice, he showed the same compassion towards Islamic terrorists too! 

Karunanidhi’s compassion and humane touch normally reaches its height at the birth anniversary of his mentor Annadurai (15 September); he would order the release of hardcore criminals from various prisons in the state. Since returning to power in May 2006, he has been ordering the release of hundreds of criminals and convicts every year on Annadurai’s birth anniversary (540 life convicts in 2006; 200 in 2007). This it reached its pinnacle last year on Annadurai’s birth centenary, when he ordered the release of 1400 prisoners, including life term convicts.

Though Janata Party President Dr. Subramaniam Swamy moved the Madras High Court against this decision, nothing materialized due to the tardy legal process. The ‘law and order’ scenario in the state deteriorated in direct proportion to the release of criminals and convicts from prison. Most critically, this action has no sanction in the Constitution and violates the Law of the land by interfering with the Judiciary and making a mockery of the judicial process. It is nothing but an insult to democracy. 

Fortunately for Tamil Nadu, Veerappan, Tamil Extremists and LTTE have become history; but the menace of Islamic terrorism is still alive and kicking. The Chief Minister himself has helped in its sustenance by ordering the release of 10 Al Umma terrorists who were involved in the 1998 Coimbatore serial blasts, on Annadurai’s 101st birth anniversary. Until last year, he had refrained from including Islamic terrorists in his compassionate list, despite a group of Muslim women staging a protest in Coimbatore last year, demanding release of their kin involved in the 1998 serial blasts.

But this year it has been an exclusively Islamic affair, to achieve equality, social justice and secularism (sic). As per government order, Ashraf Sheik, Shahul Hameed, Mohammed Rafi, Abbas Abdul Jaffar, Abdul Farookh, Abdul Rehman, Abdul Rahoop, Fakrudeen Ali Ahmed, Abdul Wahab and Mohammed Ibrahim were freed on 15 September, after serving over 10 years behind bars. Of these, Wahab, involved in two other cases, was not released. The rest were to spend time in prison till 2011, as per their original prison sentence. 

While the security of the state has been jeopardized because of this insane and arrogant act of DMK government, it becomes imperative to know how this government has helped the sustenance of Islamic terrorism in the state. 

Beginning of Jihad in Tamil Nadu

When SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India) was very active in different names in different states throughout the country, ‘Jihad Committee’ founded by Palani Baba and ‘Al Umma’ founded by SA Basha came into being in Tamil Nadu during the previous tenure of the DMK; they started inciting communal riots on a small scale through attacks and killings. The murder of Hindu Munnani leader Rajagopal in October 1994 was one among many such attacks.

As successive Dravidian governments failed to arrest their growth, they indulged in ‘jihad’ clandestinely. They did their major strike at the RSS headquarters in Chennai in November 1993, killing 11 Swayamsevaks when Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK was in power. Until then, the AIADMK also had not realized the huge security threat posed by Islamic terrorism in the state. However, the AIADMK government swung into action immediately and the TN police arrested Al Umma chief SA Basha and 15 others hailing from ‘Kottamedu’ area of Coimbatore. 

‘Kottamedu’ has been a rearing ground for Islamic terrorism; it came under permanent police control during the AIADMK regime after the RSS-office blasts. Round-the-clock vigil was maintained and five check-posts set up in Kottamedu, Ukkadam and other Muslim pockets of Coimbatore. Meanwhile, after the murder of Palani Baba, the Jihad Committee disintegrated and TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam) was founded in 1995. The TMMK gave a political colour to Islamic fundamentalism and was a brainchild of Hyder Ali, who came out of Al Umma after a tiff with his friend Basha. Hyder Ali was alleged to be a former associate of Palani Baba in Jihad Committee and now acts as General Secretary of TMMK. 

As an indication of things to come, Thangam, wife of a SC-Hindu activist Muthukrishnan died in a parcel-bomb blast in Nagore on 4 July 1995. Jegaveerapandian, a local BJP leader from Mayiladuthurai, escaped unhurt as he had the presence of mind to inform the police when he received a similar parcel. The CB CID Special Branch arrested Haroon Ismail, Rabaayee, Mohammed Kudbuddin, Raja Hussein, Zakhir Hussein, Zubeir and Abdul Aziz in connection with the two incidents, but the eighth man Abubackar Siddique escaped. Haroon Rashid, who came out on conditional bail, escaped to Dubai in August 2005, but was arrested recently on 20 January 2009 when he returned to Chennai via Bangkok.  

DMK’s record against Islamic Terrorism (Before Coimbatore Blasts)

1996 Assembly Elections: DMK candidates CT Dhandapani (MLA) and M Ramanathan (MP) promised the Muslim community that the check posts in their areas would be removed if they were voted to power. Even before formal announcement of DMK victory, as counting of votes indicated trends in favour of the DMK, Muslim youth demolished the check posts; two constables were stabbed in the melee.

May 18, 1996: Blast in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple; TMMK leader Naina Mohammed and cadres Sait Saheb, Raja Hussain and Fakrudin arrested.

End of 1996: Coimbatore prison official Warder Boopalan murdered by Muslim militants. (Ref:

January 1997
: The “Al-Umma” men (16, including chief Basha) arrested for RSS office attack in Chennai released (Ref:

February 8, 1997
: A powerful blast occurred in the premises of Mohammadiya rice mill at Saliyamangalam near Thanjavur; police seized a huge quantity of gelatin sticks, sulphur, ammonium nitrate, nitric acid, sulphuric acid, detonators and pistols from the mill premises (Ref:

February 10, 1997: Chennai city police seized around 1000 detonators packed in cardboard boxes from one Amanulla, who had come to Chennai from Coimbatore. In Tambaram, a suburb of Chennai, a cyclist was arrested with detonators and clocks with wires. (Ref: ‘Front Line,’ March 7-20, 1998)

March 11, 1997: Chennai city police seized a huge cache of arms, explosives, detonators, pipes & wires etc, from a place called Kodungaiyur, and arrested two “Al-Umma” men, one being Basha’s brother Mohammed Khan. 

September 18, 1997: Five Hindu activists murdered in different places; three Muslim fundamentalists arrested

September 24 1997: Sheikh Dawood Mustafa escaped from judicial custody while he was transported from prison to court; he was also involved in Meenakshi Amman Temple blast case (Ref:

November 29, 1997: In Coimbatore city, traffic police constable Selvaraj murdered by three “Al-Umma” men in broad daylight; in subsequent combing operation by police, 17 Muslims died in firing (Ref:

December 6, 1997: Bombs planted by ‘Islamic Defence Force’ of Kerala exploded in three different trains leaving Chennai Central Station (Coimbatore bound Cheran Express, Madurai bound Pandian Express and Allepey Express); ten people were killed and over 70 injured. The ‘Islamic Defense Force’ shared a common ideology with the ‘Al Umma’ and they had developed a network, communication and exchange of arms as they were situated on the border areas of Tamil Nadu & Kerala, the land of Abdul Nassar Madhani, president, People’s Democratic Party (Ref:

December 9, 1997: A cycle bomb exploded in Coimbatore suburb killing three women; Sultan Nazar and Abdul Quayum arrested. 

January 10, 1998
: A bomb exploded on Anna Flyover near American Embassy in the heart of Chennai city (Ref:

(To be continued…)
The author is a senior journalist; he lives in Chennai 

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