Kerala Police books BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje over 'Hindus denied water supply for supporting CAA' tweet

On January 22 BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje took to Twitter to say that Hindus of Kuttipuram Panchayat in Kerala's Malappuram were denied water supply after they supported the Citizenship Amendment Act.

"Kerala is taking baby steps to become another Kashmir!" she wrote on Twitter.

Soon after she made the accusation, many other BJP leaders lent their voice to the issue, tweeting in support of Karandlaje. BJP national IT cell head Amit Malviya for example, alleged that Muslims "who are in majority there" were denying water to the Dalits.

"22 families of a Dalit colony near Valanchery in Kerala’s Muslim dominated Malappuram have claimed that they were being denied drinking water after some attended pro CAA rally. This place adjoins Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad and is represented by Muslim League," Malviya wrote in a tweet, sharing a news article.

BJP leader C T Ravi and national spokesperson Sambit Patra were among those who had tweeted in support of Karnadlaje.

The incident has since seen further developments, with the Kerala police recently booking Karandlaje on charges of promoting enmity between different groups for her allegation.

Lawyer K R Subhash Chandran had approached the police seeking action against the MP and others over her tweet following which the case was registered on Thursday.

Police said the case has been registered against the MP and a few others on a complaint from a lawyer while the Kuttipuram Panchayat denied her charge.

The case has been filed under the Indian Penal Code section 153 (A) for promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion read with section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

The MP, who is also the Karnataka BJP general secretary, reacted sharply to the development saying instead of taking action over "discrimination" against Dalit families of Cherukunnu in Kuttipuram, the CPI(M) government has filed the case against her for "speaking the truth".

"#CAA2019 has been accepted by both the houses of parliament. People who are supporting #CAA are being boycotted from business, denied of basic amenities & jobs. CPM govt is blind to all these acts happening across Kerala, but files a case against me for speaking the truth!" she added.

Karandlaje's tweet has been widely shared with nearly 6,000 retweets and over 8,000 likes so far.

But what exactly is the situation in the region she mentions? Is her allegation completely accurate, or, is there more to the story?

Well, that might depend on who is asked.

The ruling Left Democratic Front Convenor A Vijayaraghavan said Malappuram was a place known for its communal harmony and there was no conflict between communities.

"We have met the Malappuram district collector today and it has been decided to supply drinking water in tanker lorries to the Cherukunnu colony," he told PTI.

Denying the BJP leader's allegation, Kuttipuram Panchayat Vice-President Siddiq said there was drinking water shortage in various parts.

The Kuttipuram police said since the motor was not functioning, the panchayat borewell was not being used for the past few months.

Seva Bharati, an NGO working among the economically weaker sections and associated with the Sangh Parivar, had supplied water to the affected families using motor from a neighbour for two days. However, since the Kerala State Electricity Board raised objections as the motor was meant only for pumping water for agricultural purposes, this was stopped, police said.

According to a report by The News Minute, conflicting accounts exist even among the residents of the area. According to the article, a group of Dalit families in the area allege that a Muslim family had asked them to cease drawing water from them. According to them, the family had been pressurised into doing so. The Muslim family had been pumping water from another well and storing it.

Reportedly, the aforementioned pro-CAA rally was held by the BJP in Valanchery on 11th January. Residents say that the photos of those who participated in the rally were soon circulating on social media.

However, this might also have nothing to do with the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The family in question denies any link to the CAA, and two Dalit families told The News Minute that accusations of discrimination were untrue.

(With inputs from agencies)

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