Popular Malayali novelist and short story writer K.P. Ramanunni on Friday said he has filed a police complaint after receiving a letter asking him to convert to Islam or face dire consequences.
The letter sent to the writer’s residence said, "Like TJ Joseph, your right arm will be cut off...your left leg too. You are given six months to convert to Islam. If you do not embrace Islam, we will inflict Allah's punishment on you.”
TJ Joseph was a professor at Thodupuzha college, whose right arm was severed by a radical Muslim outfit for allegedly hurting their religious sentiments through a question paper he had set.
That incident had occurred on July 4, 2010 while he was returning from Sunday mass at a church in Muvattapuzha in Ernakulam district.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that his government will not be a silent spectator to threats to writers and other creative people.
Ramanunni, who has won numerous awards for his works, told reporters that five days back he received a threat letter ordering him to convert to Islam in six months time.
"The letter states that I would have the same fate as of professor T.J. Joseph whose right palm was chopped off in 2010 by Muslim fundamentalists (the perpetrators claim that he made inflammatory remarks about Prophet Mohammed in an internal examination). I decided to complain to the police only after my close friends asked me to do so," said Ramanunni.
The immediate provocation against Ramanunni was an article he wrote in a vernacular daily about Hindus and Muslims.
The police have registered a case and have begun a probe.
In a Facebook post, Vijayan said Kerala has always allowed creative people to express their free and frank opinion and it has always been seen as an expression of their freedom.
"But under no cost would anyone who issues threats and shows intolerance to ones right of freedom be allowed to go scot free. The government will do what is required," added Vijayan.