The brutal murder of a Dalit political worker Ramalingam in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, did not create any national outrage in the country. The media, liberals and opposition parties have turned a blind eye because the victim was a Hindu-Dalit and the culprits were Muslims.
Ramalingam, a Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) functionary in Thirubuvanam was hacked to death for opposing conversion activities by members of an extremist Muslim outfit, Popular Front of India, according to media reports and police claims.
The police have arrested five persons in connection with the case. In a video which went viral shows how Ramalingam was patiently telling two Muslim proselytizers keep of his village which was Dalit dominated and preach elsewhere. According to Tamil daily, the arrested persons were workers of the PFI. Those arrested are: Mohammad Azaruddin, Mohamma Riaz, Nizam Ali, Sarbuddin and Mohammad Riaz. The accused were produced before a magistrate.
According to Thanjavur police, three teams have been formed to nab other suspects. Tension is building up in the area and the police have deployed additional force to prevent a communal flare-up.
Meanwhile, PMK chief S Ramadoss, has condemned the murder. “No one with a conscience will accept the heinous murder of someone who opposed religious conversion. Such acts are against humanity. Such acts, ruining religious co-existence and stoking communal violence should not be permitted,” said Ramadoss. The Left media outlet The News Minute and The Hindu have tried to play down the murder.
Conversion activities have been rampant in Dalit localities. A large number of Tamil Dalits are brought to Kerala-based Islamic seminaries in Ponnani and Sathyasarani for conversion.
PFI is an extremist Islamist outfit which preaches Wahabi school of thought. A majority of those who joined Islamic State in Syria and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan were activists of the PFI. The Union Home ministry is learnt to have considered banning this outfit for their terror links.