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Kerala: CM Pinarayi slams MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar for social media posts on convention centre blast

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday slammed senior BJP leader and Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar for his social media posts criticising him over a blast at a convention centre in Kalamassery, saying it was part of his communal stand.

Without naming Chandrasekhar, he, during a press conference here, sought to know based on what information the union minister made such remarks against him and how a person holding a responsible position could come out with such statements while the investigation was going on.

During the brief press meet held at the Secretariat complex here, the CM also read out the English and Malayalam statements by Chandrasekhar posted on his X handle.

“Dirty shameless appeasement politics by a discredited CM (and HM) @pinarayivijayan besieged by corruption charges. Sitting in Delhi and protesting against Israel, when in Kerala open calls by terrorist Hamas for Jihad is causing attacks and bomb blasts on innocent Christians,” the minister posted on social media earlier in the day after the reports about the multiple blasts came out.

Vijayan alleged the statements were the reflection of an absolute communal outlook

Indirectly attacking other BJP leaders who also responded on similar lines, he said those who were with the minister also came out with similar statements.

“A person who holds the post of minister should have shown at least some respect to the investigating agencies. Though the Kerala police is probing the incident now, we all saw reports that central agencies have also reached the site,” the CM said.

He further said they have taken a stand targeting a particular group, and it was part of their communal stand, but Kerala has never been on that agenda.

Noting that such statements should be viewed with seriousness, Vijayan also urged people not to fall for such campaigns.

He also warned stringent action against those who unleashed venomous campaigns through social media platforms with regard to the incident.

The CM also assured that whoever be the accused, they would be brought before the law to ensure maximum punishment.

Meanwhile, a 21-member special investigation team (SIT) of the Kerala Police, headed by ADGP Ajith Kumar, has been constituted to probe the case.

Two women died and 51 others were injured, some seriously, in multiple blasts at a Christian religious gathering in a convention centre near this port city on Sunday morning, sending shockwaves across Kerala.

The blasts took place at an international convention centre in Kalamassery, where hundreds of followers of the minority Christian group Jehovah’s Witnesses had assembled on the concluding day of a three-day-long prayer meeting.

A few hours after the incident, a man claiming to be a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, surrendered before police in Thrissur district of the state, saying that he carried out the multiple blasts.

Police has registered an FIR against unknown persons under Sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC as well as provisions of the Explosives Act and the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

(Published 29 October 2023, 16:57 IST)

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