People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 19

May 11, 2003



UDF Slept As Marad Burned

Aboo Backer


THE gruesome massacre of nine people in Marad, a seacoast village near Kozhikode city, highlights the pitfalls of the soft approach towards the communal and casteist forces adopted by the Antony government in Kerala. The serious failures of the state government in noticing and preventing this incident, despite warnings from intelligence agencies, flowed from a situation where these forces are dictating terms to a weak state government, charged the CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan after visiting the victims.


Marad experienced a sudden stampede of an organised mayhem by a well armed Muslim fundamentalist and terrorist group on the evening of May 2, which left nine persons dead and dozens wounded and a number of houses attacked and heavily damaged. The Police had since unearthed a good stock of country made weapons and petrol bombs from the village. The swords unearthed were soaked in blood.


A delegation of CPI(M) leaders toured the village on May 3 and 4 and met the victims of this heinous carnage. Speaking to pressmen after the visit Pinarayi Vijayan said  that the planned mass murder was by a terrorist outfit generally known as National Development Front. He blamed such heinous mass murders as the result of the soft approach of the state government towards the communal forces. The Muslim League, which is part of the government, is also not effectively working to isolate the terrorist groups, charged Pinarayi.




The ineffectiveness of the state home department, particularly the complete failure of its intelligence wing, has become apparent with this incident. The LDF has raised certain key questions regarding this and demanded that a judicial inquiry be instituted, which the state government conceded.


The LDF convenor Paloli Muhammedkutty demanded in Thiruvananthapuram on May 6 that the government should immediately pay compensation to the affected families.


The LDF is convinced that the mass murders have been the handiwork of a terrorist group owing allegiance to the fundamentalist National Development Front. There was a communal riot at Marad village some sixteen months back and the Congress(I)-led UDF government have not yet completed the investigations and is yet to book anyone in that case.


There were also police pickets in the village which were withdrawn just two days prior to this latest incident. These actions/inactions of the government had resulted in a free reign to inhuman and anti-social elements to appear again inflicting heavy loss of life.


It is also learnt that there were  intelligence reports from Tamil Nadu suggesting possible attacks by Muslim terrorists at this village and these warnings were simply ignored by the government The LDF expressed the view that the influence of Muslim League being in power had been the cause for these willful lapses on the part of the government. The Muslim League also did not try to isolate these terrorist groups.


The LDF has decided to hold a mass protest rally at Kozhikode on May 16 and at all other district centers before May 20.


The indecisive UDF government headed by A K Antony has been remaining passive for the last few weeks tied up with the political crisis that had haunted his party in the wake of the Rajya Sabha elections.


The Antony government which had ruthlessly shot the adivasis who had been fighting for their existence, always remained idle and complacent and in complicity when it came to the communal forces.


The police is said to have fired into air to disperse the mob engaged in violence.  Many suspect that the distribution of tridents by the VHP to its cadres here recently could have some connection with the present incident of violence. Even as the preplanned nature of this massacre is becoming clearer and clearer, the state is silent, ominously silent.


Justice V R Krishna Iyer has alleged that the government  has committed a graver crime by not heeding to the recommendations  of the people's commission headed by him in the wake of the last  riot at Marad. A government constitutionally committed to uphold secularism was distributing relief through communal organizations. It is always dangerous to authorise the communal and religious agencies to decide the priorities of life in given society. 


Antony is being criticised widely for his most ignominious and  abject surrender to the communal forces.