In a deft political move, Kerala BJP state general secretary and former Vice Chairman of All India Minorities Commission, George Kurien has written to Union Home Minister, Amit Shah to provide protection to Arch Bishop of Pala, Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt after Islamic organisations came out in the open against the Bishop.
Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt had while addressing the faithful at Marth Mariam Pilgrim Church at Kuruvilangad in Kottayam district on Wednesday, had said that non-Muslims are subjected to 'Narcotic Jihad' in Kerala. He said that there were two types of Jihad -- Love Jihad and Narcotic Jihad.
He had said that the 'Narcotic Jihad' is the activity of spoiling the life of non-Muslims, particularly youths by making them addicted to drugs, the Bishop had said.
The BJP state general secretary in the letter to the Union Home Minister said that the Chief Minister of the state, as well as the opposition leader, had come out against the Bishop and that this has given strength to the Islamist organisations to conduct a public protest against the Bishop.
Kurien while addressing media persons at Kochi said, "The position taken by the Chief Minister and that of the state Opposition leader have given strength to the divisive organisations and for the first time in the history of the state, extremist organisations conducted march towards Bishop's House."
He said that the extremists who took part in the march used filthy language against the Bishop near the Bishop's house. The senior BJP leader said that the extremists had also threatened the Bishop that he would not be allowed to walk freely in the street.
George Kurien while speaking to media persons said, "In this context of threat to the life of a Bishop, I have requested Union Home minister, Amit Shah to provide protection to Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt."
Union Minister of State for External Affairs and former Kerala state president of BJP, V. Muraleedharan had on Saturday said that the period of "Palm Chopping of Islamic Extremists" is over and that the BJP would give complete protection to the Bishop.
The BJP which is struggling to get a foothold in the state is trying to make use of this anti-Bishop remarks by both the mainstream political parties of the state, CPM, and the Congress as an opportunity and trying to capitalize on the same.