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Kerala BJP alleges 'Islamic State links' to hoax hartal call over Kathua rape case in state, demands NIA probe

Thiruvananthapuram: BJP in Kerala on Monday alleged there was a connection between terror outfit Islamic State and the recent 'hoax' hartal call in the state over the Kathua rape and sought an NIA probe.

The party would lodge a complaint with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) seeking a probe in this regard, BJP state general secretary MT Ramesh told reporters.

He claimed posters demanding justice for the Kathua rape victim, allegedly prepared by a pro-ISIS social media group based in Sri Lanka, had been widely circulated on social media in the state along with the hartal call.

 Kerala BJP alleges Islamic State links to hoax hartal call over Kathua rape case in state, demands NIA probe

Representational image. AFP

The 16 April hoax call by some unidentified groups on the social media had triggered widespread tension across the state with agitators blocking public transport, forcibly downing shutters and hurling stones at vehicles in the name of the 'hartal'.

A large number of people were arrested across the state in connection with the hartal while police later said they found some whatsapp groups had purposefully spread the call.

Ramesh accused the state government of trying to end the investigation with "some whatsapp groups".

"The recent hartal, called via social media, by some groups and the following violence had a connection with Islamic State. The Kerala government is trying to end the investigation with some whatsapp groups," Ramesh alleged.

The NIA should probe the case as the incident had "international links", he added.

The perpetrators of violence had tried to trigger riot in Malabar (north Kerala) under the garb of hartal, the BJP leader charged.

A day after the hartal, BJP state president Kummanom Rajasekharan has alleged anti-national forces were behind the violence in connection with the 'hartal' and demanded that they be booked for terror and the matter be handed over to NIA for further probe.

The hoax hartal call was given to protest the recent alleged gang rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua region.

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Updated Date: Apr 23, 2018 21:34:49 IST