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29 February 2024

Several UAE expatriate houses burned in Kerala

Affected expatriates held a press conference in Dubai. (YouTube grabshot)

By Joseph George

Several expatriate houses have been burnt and gold jewellery worth millions stolen as part of what is being termed as a new wave of political violence in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Many affected expatriates held a press conference in Dubai on Saturday under the umbrella of Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), and have called for more aggressive police action against the perpetrators of violence.

More than 60 houses were burnt, majority of them belonging to expatriates living and working in the UAE.

At least 36 of the houses burnt belong to expatriates living in the UAE, affected members revealed during the press conference.

“In some cases, women were dragged out of their homes, with knives at their throat, before the mob burnt the houses. I went and witnessed the damage myself and found that even explosives were used to bring down the structures,” said Ibrahim Murichandy, General Secretary at KMCC Dubai.

The incident occureed when a 20-year-old worker of the predominant Communist Party of India (Marxist) was killed on the night of January 13.

“The very next day there was mayhem across town. Police just stood and watched,’ accused Murichandy.

According to media reports, Shibin was allegedly attacked and killed by a group of IUML workers. Several others including those belonging to DYFI and the Youth Congress were also injured following the violence.

Several expatriates who lost their home and belongings said they have been unnecessarily targeted.

“We have got nothing to do with party politics. Yet we have lost everything that we had, including years of hard work and struggle,” said Ashraf, one of the affected.