Tanur, which witnessed a riot-like situation on Sunday night, is limping back to normalcy. Women and children have started to come back, even as fears of an another flare up looming large and as an uneasy calm prevails in the coastal area. 

 

More than 30 houses were set on fire and numerous vehicles destroyed when a minor clash between CPM-Muslim League workers escalated into a riot-like situation on Sunday night. An Angry mob set houses on fire, destroyed fishing boats and fishing gears and terrorised people. Police raids to catch the miscreants were even more violent and it left women and children in disarray. 
 

Related: Tanur tense as CPM, Muslim League blame each other for violence, arson

 

But everyone in Kerala, except, of course, the politicians complicit in the violence and administrators, were wondering why Tanur suddenly became a highly vulnerable area. Shockingly, one realises that the riot on Sunday was in the waiting for long as the political leadership, police, district administration and the civil society looked away when minor clashes and hatred were kept under the wraps for long. The embers of hatred kept simmering while the authorities failed to realise that Tanur was a ticking time bomb. 

 

It is even more shocking that not a single miscreant was convicted in numerous cases of violence and clashes between CPM and Muslim League in Tanur coastal area in the past 10 years. As many as 374 cases of were withdrawn or settled outside court since 2006 under Tanur Police limits alone. Political parties help the culprits escape the law by striking a deal. No surprise that no one was convicted in 307 cases charge sheeted between 2006-13. 
 

Related: Uneasy calm prevails as familes leave violence-hit areas in Tanur
 

The police officers regret that the whole exercise of investigation and tedious legal proceedings would go wasted and the culprits walk free as the rival parties strive hard to save their men. As many as 168 cases of violence between CPM and Muslim League were settled outside court between 2006 and 2013 whereas witnesses turned hostile in 139 under political threats or pressure. The investigators would be at a loss when the respective governments use special powers to withdraw cases to safeguard political interests. In the last ten years, 67 cases of violent clashes and mob violence were withdrawn by the government.  

 

Out-of-the-court settlements and the bonhomie while settling the cases with the rivals would die down within days and violence would revisit Tanur within no time. Tanur police have registered 44 cases of violence involving CPM-Muslim League workers since 2014. Peace and tranquility would be a distant dream if the political leadership make a mockery of law and order and go overboard to protect the criminals involved.