The tragic death of a Kerala-based nurse in Israel due to bombing from the Gaza Strip during the ongoing clashes between Israel and Palestinian terrorists has sparked political controversy in Kerala.
On Wednesday, the 31-year-old nurse Soumya Santosh, hailing from Idukki, Kerala, was killed in a rocket attack launched by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza coastal strip. Soumya Santosh worked as a caregiver to an older woman in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon.
Following the death of the Malayali woman, who was killed by the Palestinian terrorists, the ‘secular’ political parties of Kerala – both Left Democratic Front (LDF) and United Democratic Front (UDF) expressed their hesitation to condemn Palestinians for the killing. The political leaders from both camps issued half-hearted condolence messages on the death of Kerala nurse while failing to condemn Hamas for carrying terror attacks on Israel that led to the killing of Soumya Santhosh.
According to the reports, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was forced to change his Facebook post after facing flak from Islamists in Kerala. The Chief Minister had to edit his Facebook post to delete such references he had made to link the death of Soumya Santhosh to Israeli-Palestinian clashes.
Not just him, Former Chief Minister and AICC general secretary Oommen Chandy has also made several changes to his Facebook posts. Reportedly, in his earlier post, Chandy had said Soumya was killed in the attack by ‘extremists’. However, after facing heat from Islamists in the state, he edited his post to remove the references he had made against Palestine.
Reacting to this, BJP leader Sobha Surendran said that the situation in Kerala has become so dangerous that both the leaders had to correct their posts expressing sorrow over the killing of the Kerala nurse due to the fear of religious extremists.
Attacking the ‘secular’ parties in the state, BJP state president K Surendran asked whether the ruling party and the opposition are silent on the killing of Soumya due to Hamas extremists being their allies.
Congress, CPI(M) attacks Israel, supports Palestine during the ongoing clashes
Meanwhile, Islamists in Kerala have reminded the Congress about the so-called ‘warm relations’ India had with Palestine during the Congress rule. Several Congress supporters posted old photographs of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat with former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
In fact, the Communists were not very far behind Congress in the appeasement of Muslims in the state. CPM politburo has stated it was Israeli who attacked Palestine. The Communist Party said, “the air raids carried out by Israel on the Gaza strip led to the death of many Palestinian citizens”.
“Israel is moving towards the complete occupation of East Jerusalem by attacking Palestinians who were protesting its attempt to forcefully expel residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood to make way for Jewish settlements. Netanyahu, who had repeatedly failed to win a majority in the Israel elections, launched these attacks for petty political gains,” the statement issued by the CPI(M) said.
The CPI(M) claimed that it condemned these acts and calls upon the Government of India to voice its support to the people of Palestine.
Pinarayi Vijayan writes letter to Centre, fails to condemn Palestinians
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote a letter to Union Minister for Foreign Affairs S Jaishankar pleading him to intervene to bring back the body of Soumya. In a carefully worded tweet, Pinarayi Vijayan claimed that they were in touch with the Indian Embassy in Israel to ensure that the mortal remains of Soumya Santhosh, “who was killed in Israel,” is brought back to Kerala and handed over to her family as soon as possible.
We are in touch with the Indian Embassy in Israel to ensure that the mortal remains of Soumya Santhosh who was killed in Israel is brought back to Kerala and handed over to her family as soon as possible. Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Soumya.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) May 12, 2021
However, anywhere in his tweet, he did not condemn the Islamic terrorist group Hamas for the killing of the 31-year-old Kerala nurse Soumya Santhosh.
Social media users questions Kerala Chief Minister’s silence on the killing of nurse
Netizens have come down heavily on Pinarayi Vijayan for not condoling the death of the Malayali nurse who was killed by the Palestinian rocket attacks inside Israel.
Social media users attacked Pinarayi Vijayan for failing to write a word against Hamas and called him a ‘shameless man’.
Another user asked why was Pinarayi Vijayan so scared of naming the killers.
Why are you scared of naming the killers?— The Navigator (@was_is_will_be) May 12, 2021
Responding to Pinarayi Vijayan’s reluctance to blame Hamas for killing a Malayali nurse, another user said he was just curious to know how she got killed. Was it an alien rocket attack, the user asked.
Just curious to know how got killed.. was it a alien rocket attack— Nationalist (@rageshm) May 12, 2021
How did she die sir ? What a sad state you are in !!— Amar T (@athrikkakara) May 12, 2021
Social media users highlighted the reluctance of Kerala politicians and pointed out that it was fear of backlash from the Islamic fundamentalists in the state.