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Convert to Islam or Else: Malayalam Author Ramanunni Gets Threat Letter

File photo of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

File photo of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The anonymous threat letter received by author KP Ramanunni warned him to convert to Islam in six months or meet the same fate as that of professor TJ Joseph, whose right arm was chopped off by members of a radical Muslim outfit.

Thiruvananthapuram: Prominent Malayalam author KP Ramanunni who is known for his progressive writings has received a death threat purportedly from fringe Muslim outfits, prompting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to warn of severe action.

The Kerala chief minister's ire was also directed at fringe right-wing groups who issued death threats and abused online a woman college lecturer in Thrissur after students put MF Husain's controversial Saraswati painting in one of their banners.

In his complaint to the police, author KP Ramanunni said he received an anonymous threat letter which warned him that his right arm and left leg would be chopped off if he did not convert to Islam within six months.

The letter was received at his home in Kozhikode six days ago and was posted from Manjeri in Malappuram district. Though it seemed it was written by radical Muslims, he couldn't say for sure who was behind it, Ramanunni told CNN-News18.

KP Ramanunni

Ramanunni said fundamentalist elements on both sides were angry with him following his recent book which has the Prophet and Lord Krishna as characters disapproving of intolerance and terror.

"There is no provocation against any religion in my book. I have only said Hindus and Muslims needn’t fight against each other. That these people can’t tolerate,” the author said.

The letter alleged that some of the recent articles written by the award-winning writer amounted to "misleading" the Muslim youth.

It also warned that Ramanunni would meet the same fate as that of professor TJ Joseph, whose right arm was chopped off by the members of a radical Muslim outfit for allegedly hurting their religious sentiments through a question paper he had set.

"Like TJ Joseph, your right arm will be cut off... your left leg, too. You are given six months to convert to Islam. If you do not embrace Islam, we will inflict Allah's punishment on you," the letter said.

The police said a probe was launched on the basis of Ramanunni's complaint.

The right arm of Joseph, who was a professor in the Thodupuzha New Man College, was chopped off while he was returning home from the Sunday mass at a church in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district on July 4, 2010.

A novelist and short story writer, Ramanunni is a recipient of the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award and Vayalar Award among other literary acclaims.

In the other case, Deepa Nishanth, a lecturer in the Thrissur-based Kerala Varma College, lodged a police complaint regarding death threats she received on social media, allegedly from right-wing activists, in connection with a painting of renowned artist late MF Hussain put up on the college campus.

Deepa Nishanth is a lecturer in the Thrissur-based Kerala Varma College.

She alleged that her morphed pictures with derogatory comments were widely circulated and shared on the social media.

She said the threat seemed to be on the assumption that she was in support of the exhibition of the controversial painting 'Saraswathy' on the college campus.

A banner, with the painting, was put up by the SFI, the students' union of the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala, to welcome the freshers, she said.

"I was shocked to see the series of abusive comments against me on the social media over a matter, in which I was not even involved," said Deepa.

She added that the comments and morphed pictures were also sent to her family members, causing great mental agony. The police registered a case under the Information Technology (IT) Act after the lecturer lodged a complaint with the chief minister and Director General of Police (DGP) Loknath Behera.

Assuring action, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said in a Facebook post: “Those who feel that independent voices can be gagged by threats are living in a fool's paradise."

Reacting to the news, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi said, "Criminals who wrote the letter should (be) arrested."