Taking aim at BJP spokesperson Anil Antony for spreading a recent fake claim by a soldier that created communal divisions in Kerala — and his subsequent justification of the same — Muslim Youth League leader PK Firos sought legal action against the people who “purportedly spread the fake claim”.
The soldier, hailing from Kadakkal in Kollam district, had claimed that he was assaulted by a group of six persons who wrote “PFI” on his back with green paint. Later it emerged that the soldier had faked the incident.
PFI generally refers to the Popular Front of India, an Islamic political organisation that was banned by the Union government last year.
Seeks legal action
In a Facebook post, Firos, who is the general secretary of the Indian Union Muslim League party’s youth wing, said that the BJP’s Anil Antony and right-wing activist Pratheesh Vishwanath were among those who deliberately spread the news in society.
Urging the government to take action against those who propagated the fake news, Firos said the Youth League would soon lodge a complaint with the DGP in this regard.
“There are media houses and individuals who deliberately spread this news in the society… Anil Antony and Pratheesh Vishwanath were among such people. There are those who were not ready to give a correction even after they came to know the truth. So, the government should be ready to take action against them as well,” Firos said.
Firos said that while the soldier and his friend were taken into custody by the police, that alone does not bring an end to the problem; usually, the media issues a correction or an apology in such cases — although the damage caused by the news cannot be undone.
Refuting the charges, Anil Antony said that a section of people were trying to use this one incident to whitewash a large anti-social, anti-national network and their dubious activities — referring to the PFI.
‘Kerala emerging as epicentre of radical islamists’
In a post on social media platform X, Anil dubbed politicians of the INDIA alliance, the media, and fact-checkers as the “terror sympathising gang” and claimed that they “seemed to be ruffled” by some of the recent statements that he made with regard to the soldier faking a communal attack on himself.
Anil said that it turned out that the soldier and his friend were “miscreants” but it didn’t take away from “the fact that Kerala was emerging as a dangerous epicentre of radical Islamists”.
Just in the last few months, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has busted multiple underground PFI activities with links to ISIS, with a Kerala police officer himself suspended for leaking sensitive information to these terror groups, the BJP spokesperson contended.
“And the terror sympathising ecosystem of the various dot dot I.N.D.I alliance partners – @INCIndia @CPIMKerala @kerala_iuml with some of their media and fact-checker friends are using one incident to whitewash a large anti social anti national network and their dubious activities. All of them are dangerous for the country’s internal security. @HMOIndia,” he claimed in his post.
തീവ്രവാദത്തോട് അനുഭാവം പുലർത്തുന്ന ഒരു വലിയ സംഘം – രാഷ്ട്രീയക്കാർ, മാധ്യമങ്ങൾ, വസ്തുത പരിശോധിക്കുന്നവർ എന്നിവരെല്ലാം രണ്ട് ദിവസം മുമ്പ് ഞാൻ നടത്തിയ ചില പ്രസ്താവനകളിൽ അസ്വസ്ഥരായതായി കണ്ടു. സൈനികനും അയാളുടെ സുഹൃത്തും വ്യാജൻമാരെന്ന് തെളിഞ്ഞു. എന്നാൽ അത് തീവ്ര ഇസ്ലാമിസ്റ്റുകളുടെ…
— Anil K Antony (@anilkantony) September 28, 2023
(With PTI inputs)