Long Vilified Malappuram Muslims Risk Their Lives to Rescue Plane Crash Victims


They did not loot the passengers’ luggage.They did not steal from the pockets of the injured passengers. They did not show any difference between those passengers wearing a skull cap or those who had tilak on their forehead”

 Mohd Aasif l Clarion India  

NEW DELHI — Malappuram, the lone Muslim-majority district in Kerala, which was maligned in the past for allegedly hurting a pregnant elephant with crackers, has now attracted the appreciation for the good work done by the commoners to help the recent Air India Express plane crash victims.

Indians countrywide and abroad saw on Friday night that hundreds of Malappuram residents helped victims of an airliner accident in their backyard.

The good work of the local Muslims attracted the attention of the netizens and won praise for them. In a quick response, the locals rushed in and took most of the injured passengers to different nearby hospitals. Small children, separated from their elders and unable to make out what had happened, were held close to their chest and comforted in whatever languages they could speak. WhatsApp messages with pictures of the child and the caretaker were quickly sent to all known numbers and groups with the contact number of the person who had the child, till the parents contacted them.

The Air India Express crash had resulted in the death of 18 on board and injuring 172, some seriously.

A tiny piece of writing with gigantic appreciation emerged on the Facebook by Captain Kulbir Rai, Sr. Capt at GoAir, which counts the qualities of the Muslim residents who rushed to the rescue of the passengers crying for help. “They did not loot the passengers’ luggage .They did not steal from the pockets of the injured passengers. They did not show any difference between those passengers wearing a skull cap or those who had tilak on their forehead”, the piece reads.

The appreciation goes on saying that the locals did not think of the high petrol cost or the difficult times their family was going through due to the pandemic.

It is noted that the Muslim residents did not bother to even keep a safe distance or did not refuse to touch those not wearing masks. They did not fear Covid after being very cautious all these months.

Amazingly, those who came for the help did not just stop there but even went to hospitals and stood in long queues in front of hospital blood banks with male and female volunteers waiting to give their blood for the injured passengers and all this past midnight even as their own children were alone at home.

“They did not bother about the leather seat covers of their cars getting stained with blood and mud when they took the injured passengers in their cars. They did not know the name, religion or nationality of the passengers whom they rushed to hospital at a high speed in their vehicles, risking their own lives. What’s more, the local Muslims did not even bother about the torrential rain that was pounding through the night, when they rushed with vehicles to the airport immediately after hearing of the aircraft crash. They did not wait for police or ambulances to come and pick up the injured”, reads the tiny Facebook statement.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his tweets, recognised the efforts taken by the locals and how they braved bad weather and Covid fears to rescue their fellow beings. While congratulating the local rescuers, he tweeted, “We have seen this many times. Whenever there is an adversity, the people of Kerala come together to fight it. Humanity, the greater goodness that binds us all, is the bedrock of our society. Let’s take a moment to congratulate the people of Malappuram and Kozhikode”

Talking about the philanthropic attitude of the people of Kerala, journalist Sahil Murli Meghanani tweeted, “Locals in Kerala queued up till late night despite corona to donate blood for #AirIndia crash victims. Locals rushed their vehicles to Karipur airport as rains delayed the arrival of rescue teams. Locals, including cabbies, used their vehicles to take injured to hospital.”

Another journalist Nishedh MK, talking about the promptness of the locals and reminded the slandering of the Mallapuram people done by the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), tweeted, “#AirIndiaCrash All 190 onboard were rescued in 1.5 hrs, thanks to prompt action by the people of Malappuram. They may have saved more than 70% of the victims. Yes, the same Malappuram denounced as India’s most violent district by a BJP leader recently.”



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