Upset by the media expose’ on large scale encroachments in Munnar, the political leadership of Idukki turned the heat on journalists and even threatened physical attacks. Most of the political leaders, representing various parties, who addressed the protest meeting organized in Munnar town on Monday slammed the media for trying to ‘paint everybody in Munnar as encroachers.’

 

Congress leader and KPCC Vice President AK Many issued a stern warning against media. We will finish those who try to destroy Munnar by creating unnecessary controversies, he said. He even recalled the controversial 1-2-3 statement of CPM leader MM Mani, which referred to the murder of political rivals. “We will follow the 1-2-3 model if needed,” the Congress leader said to a loud applause.

 

The Congress leader’s threat against media persons kicked up a controversy, forcing the party leadership to distance from it.  “The party do not share the view. Media persons are doing a great job in exposing the large scale encroachments,” said KPCC president MM Hasan.  He also said that the party will seek an explanation from Mani.

 

It is high time for all political parties to join hands to protect the interests of people of Munnar, said CPM district secretary KK Jayachandran. He also blamed media for creating a feeling that encroachers were thriving in Munnar. The media hype over encroachments has affected the tourist flow into the hill station, according to the agitators.

 

Congress leader MK Mani later softened his stand and clarified that he was not against media.