The Kerala government has no intention to initiate any legal proceedings against Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Pala diocese for his controversial “narcotic jihad” remarks, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday.
The CM, at a press conference, said while there were divisive forces in existence in the state, everyone should ensure that the brotherhood between the various religious communities continues and the communal harmony is not disrupted. The intent should be to resolve the issues with dialogue, he said in response to a query as to whether the state government would initiate any legal proceedings against the Pala Bishop for his controversial remarks.
The CM also said that necessary clarifications have come from the Bishop’s side that the intent behind his remarks were to caution his community against the evils of drugs and not to create enmity between religions or disrupt communal harmony.
The CM also said that while “mafia” or “narcotics mafia” were well known terms, when he said he had not heard of “narcotics jihad” he meant no religious symbol or angle should be given to such activities.
The statement came after someone said that a certain newspaper had questioned how he had not heard of that term despite having several advisors and whether he was scared of terror organisations.
Pinarayi Vijayan said that mafia organisations should be seen as such — a mafia — and they should not be branded with a certain religion. He said that when respected members of the society make statements they should ensure that the same are not provocative. He said there were divisive or communal forces in existence here and they should not be given an opportunity to grow by way of such remarks.
The CM further said police would take action against those spreading hate and enmity among communities and there will be no discussions or dialogues with such people.
With regard to Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani’s reaction to the Pala Bishop’s remarks, the CM said he was only saying that respected or revered people in the society while creating awareness among their community should not give it a religious angle.