Speaking exclusively to The Lede, the Islamic organisation based in Tamil Nadu says that it has no links with the Sri Lankan “Thawheed Jamaat” which is allegedly a prime suspect in the bomb blasts
Abdhur Rahman, vice president of the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath (TNTJ) says he was standing on the beach this morning when he received a call from a friend. “I had not read the papers, but my friend told me that our organisation had been named in the national newspapers,” said Rahman.
The Times of India carried a report of an Islamic organisation called the “Thawheed Jamaat” in Sri Lanka as being the main suspect in the serial blasts that rocked the island nation on Easter Sunday in which 207 died and over 400 were injured. In the report, the daily also claims that the suspected group in Sri Lanka has a “significant presence in Tamil Nadu too.” (Read the Times of India article here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/thawheed-jamat-group-active-in-tamil-nadu-prime-suspect-behind-sri-lanka-blasts/articleshow/68982186.cms)
The Lede asked Abdhur Rahman for his reaction to this claim. “There is no basis to this claim at all,” said Rahman. “Let us say there is a person called Ramasamy. How many Ramasamys are there in India? Can you say all of them are related or guilty of a crime just because one Ramasamy committed a crime? Thowheed means ‘egatthuvam’ (monotheism). It is a word commonly used in Islam. Someone has used the same name for their organisation. How can you say we are responsible? We have nothing to do with them. We don’t even know who they are,” he said.
Rahman continued – “We have always maintained that no individual has the power to kill. Only governments can kill if a crime is committed. According to Islam it is wrong to kill. We have always maintained this. The media is writing all kinds of untruths in order to get some temporary mileage. They are squeezing Muslims. It is wrong,” he said.
The Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath is a known Islamic body and was in the news for their protests against Kamal Haasan’s film Viswaroopam in 2013. They are also well known for their social work especially during times of crisis or calamities such as Cyclone Gaja. The small organisation has been active in demonstrations against BJP-led governments, both states and the Centre, over a variety of issues, including violence unleashed by Gau-rakshaks or cow vigilantes.
“We have already issued a statement yesterday condemning the blasts that took place in Sri Lanka,” Rahman told The Lede. “Whoever is behind the blasts, needs to be brought to justice and made to pay for what they did.”