Kerala BJP chief K Surendran on Saturday alleged that Hamas leader Khaled Mashal had participated virtually in a protest programme organised by an Islamist group in the state against Israel’s war with the militant outfit.

In a Facebook post, Surendran claimed Mashal’s participation in the event organised by the Solidarity Youth Movement, the youth wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, on Friday.

Sharing a poster displaying Mashal’s participation in the event organised by the district wing of the Movement in Malappuram, the BJP leader alleged that the situation had reached this extent in traditionally secular Kerala.

“Terrorist leaders of Hamas themselves take part in events (in the state). It was virtual participation only because he didn’t obtain a visa. The organisers’ intentions were evident…,” Surendran said.

Meanwhile, on Hamas leader Khaled Mashal’s participation at a pro-Palestine rally in Kerala, BJP state vice president VT Rema says, “It was shocking news to hear…It is tragic and deployable to see that in a secular country like India and in the southernmost state called Kerala a group of Islamic terrorists has shown their real mindset…Everybody knows Hamas attacked Israel in an unprecedented way without notice…”

The BJP chief urged both Kerala police and central agencies to investigate the incident further. However, Suhaib C T, state president of the Solidarity Youth Movement, justified the virtual participation of the Hamas leader.

“He took part in our programme organised to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and to condemn the onslaught by Israel. No need to see anything unusual in that,” he told PTI.

He said Hamas is not an organisation that is operational in India or a banned outfit, and so his participation is not a crime under the law.

There would be many more solidarity events in India, which would prove the support of the Indians for the Palestinian people, Suhaib said.

BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Saturday said that Hamas leader Khaled Mashal’s virtual participation in a pro-Palestine rally at Mallapuram in Kerala shows “the failure of the Pinarayi Vijayan government.”

Speaking to ANI, Vijayvargiya said, “It is a failure of the state government. To challenge ‘Hindutva’ here is of grave concern and I urge the state and central government to take it seriously. The people of the country will give an answer to the ‘Ghamandiya’ alliance, which is protecting such people.”

On this issue, BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla said that it is unfortunate that Kerala govt is giving a platform to such organisations.

“Will the Congress party which is part of INDI alliance, condemn this? Why is INDI alliance supporting Hamas who killed more than 700 people? Terrorists are being given platforms. In the name of vote bank politics, terrorists are being given platforms. Using Palestine as an excuse, attempts are made to protect Hamas,” Shehzad Poonawalla said.

*With Agency Inputs

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Updated: 28 Oct 2023, 10:55 PM IST

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