Pala Bishop booked for ‘narcotic jihad' remarks
Pala archdiocese's Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangat, whose ‘narcotic love jihad’ remarks caused a massive row in Kerala, has been booked by the state police on Monday, November 1, as directed by a local court in Kottayam. A complaint to this effect was made by All India Imam's Council first to the local police, but after the police failed to act, they approached the local Pala court, which directed the police to file the case. The Bishop has been booked two months after his controversial remarks. The Kuruvilangad police in Kottayam has registered the case.
Pala Archdiocese's Bishop Mar Joseph Kallarangat, while speaking at a function at Marth Mariam Pilgrim Church at Kuruvilangad in Kottayam district on September 9, alleged that non-Muslims in Kerala are subjected to "narcotic jihad," which is spoiling lives, particularly of young people, by making them addicted to drugs.
After his speech became viral, several groups came out against the Bishop, especially Muslim organisations, and some extreme organisations carried out a protest march towards his house. The Congress put pressure on the Pinarayi Vijayan government to call for an all-party meeting, but the demand was ignored.
The BJP also joined the issue and former Vice Chairman of the party's Minority Morcha, George Kurien, wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, seeking security for the Pala Bishop as "Muslim extremists had threatened him publicly with dire consequences".
Pinarayi, however later, countered the Bishop's claims saying that drug sale is not based on religion. "No such instances of forcefully getting someone addicted to drugs and then converting to another religion has come to our notice nor were such complaints received," Pinarayi said, adding that there is no evidence to show that consumers or drug dealers belonged to a particular community.
Some of the religious leaders in Kerala came together in September for discussions to uphold the secular unity of the state.
With IANS inputs