Kerala: Catholics Demand Strict Action in Bible Burning Incident

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A Muslim youth has been arrested for the act said to be in retaliation to the burning of a copy of the Quran in Stockholm

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Catholic bishops have demanded strict action against the person who allegedly burnt a copy of the Bible recently in the southern state of Kerala.

The youth also uploaded video footage of the incident on social media. Kerala state police arrested the accused after the communally sensitive video footage went viral.

“It is a deliberate attempt to create communal discord and he should be punished,” Father Jacob G. Palakkappilly, spokesperson of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council, was quoted by media reports as saying. 

Appreciating the quick action by the police, Father Palakkappilly demanded that the man be tried for attempting to disrupt peace.

“This is a very heinous act,” the priest said and claimed that the same person had removed the statues of infant Jesus and others from a crib in a government hospital last Christmas.

The man identified as Mohammed Mustafa, a resident of Kerala’s Kasargod district, is seen in video footage burning a Malayalam language copy of the Bible.

He is also heard saying that his act was in retaliation to the burning of a copy of the Quran in Sweden last month. A far-right Danish politician Rasmus Paludan committed the act outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm.

Enraged Muslims in many parts of the world staged protests against the act but those in India desisted from reacting in a similar manner.

The accused is said to be mentally unstable.

Father Palakkappilly appealed to every law-abiding citizen to condemn such acts and ensure peace and harmony in society.

The Kerala Bishops’ Commission for Social Harmony and Vigilance too condemned the burning of the copy of the Bible and urged the government to take stringent action against the accused.

Father Michael Pulickal, secretary of the commission, in a statement called it a “very painful thing for Christians in India and across the world.”

The priest also questioned the silence of political, intellectual and other religious leaders over such actions and appealed to everyone to isolate such people who continue to threaten and disturb peace in society.

Father Pulickal appealed to the Kerala government to ensure stringent punishment for the culprit to send the message to people that “our society does not have any space for such communally divisive actions.”

Roughly 18.38 per cent of Kerala’s 33 million people are Christians. Hindus are 54.56 per cent followed by Muslims who make up 26.56 percent of the state’s population.

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Image of the burning of the Bible taken from Matters India

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