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Kerala firing: Suspended cops threatened by fundamentalists

May 23, 2009 20:46 IST

Islamic fundamentalists have issued threats to police officers, who were suspended following the firing at Thiruvananthapuram on May 17, which resulted in six deaths.

The deaths have created a furor in Kerala, and the state government has ordered the suspension of six police officials, in the wake of wide-spread public resentment against the erring policemen.

The Popular Front, which is the new incarnation of the National Development Front, is believed to responsible for issuing threats to the police officers. The Home Ministry has decided to provide protection to the police officials.

Popular Front state president Nasaruddin Elamaram, while addressing a meeting in Kannur, had called for strict action against the erring police officers.

Sources in the Home Ministry indicated that supporters of Elamaram might have issued the threats.

Top officials of the Kerala police defended the suspended policemen, claiming they had taken action against a group of miscreants, who were about to attack a church near Cheriathura beach, to prevent a major communal riot in the state .

However, the state government has suspended the police officials and decided to provide government jobs to family members of the victims.

While the Popular Front had demanded a compensation amount of Rs 25 lakh for the families of the victims, the government has agreed to provide Rs 10 lakh.

The government's attempts at damage control are being perceived by some as the Left Democratic Front's attempts to project itself as a saviour of the minority community.

Arun Lakshman in Thiruvananthapuram