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Kerala massacre: Antony refuses to apologise

Antony refused to apologise for not ordering a CBI probe into the Marad communal massacre in 2002 and 2003.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2006 18:04 IST

Former Kerala chief minister AK Antony on Friday refused to apologise for not ordering a Central Buro of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Marad communal massacre in 2002 and 2003.

The Thomas P Joseph judicial probe report, which was tabled in the state assembly on Wednesday, indicted the erstwhile Antony government for not ordering a CBI probe into the massacre.

After the report was tabled, the CPI-M state secretary Pinnarayi Vijayan demanded an apology from Antony for not going ahead with the investigation by the elite agency.

"In the first Marad massacre, 79 CPI-M activists have been named as accused and did Vijayan and his party take any action against them for their involvement. So first, it is the CPI-M and Vijayan who have to apologise and then ask others to apologise," Antony told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

The coastal village of Marad in Kozhikode district was rocked by violent communal clashes in 2002 and 2003—considered the worst in the state. Fourteen people were killed in the clashes between Muslims and Hindus in the two years.

"The CPI-M and the Left Democratic Front at the all-party meetings held by my government then never asked for a CBI probe. Today they say I did not do my job. This is unfair," he said.

Antony said three separate petitions filed in the Kerala High Court demanding a CBI probe were withdrawn after the court was convinced that all necessary steps had been initiated by his government.

"We ordered a judicial probe as demanded by all parties except the Bharatiya Janata Party, ordered a Crime Branch probe and also set up a special court to deal with the Marad massacre," he said.