Who were the leaders who lead the moplahs into a 6 month long genocidal orgy of violence and blood. Reams are being written about the violence that marked the Hindu Genocide executed by the Moplahs of Malabar. But what do we know of their leaders. This is their story. This is the story of KHILAFAT KINGS – who ruled a blood soaked land for a month. They had established their Daulah-e-Islamiya – the islamic kingdom or islamic swaraj (as some called it). It is another matter that this slice of daulah, rang with cries of Hindu women as they were raped, cries of the children as they were battered to death and Hindu men being beheaded or flogged to death for their refusal to convert.


ALI MUSALIAR – He was the main culprit of Hindu genocide. Ali Musaliar was originally from Amsom Taluk and he set himself up as religious preacher (maulvi) at the Jama Masjid of Tirurangadi. Upon outbreak of violence, (that he had orchestrated), he declared himself as the KHILAFAT KING. He was ‘coronated’ at the Jama Masjid of Tirurangadi and named ALI RAJA. His reign lasted all of 8 days. He was coronated on 22nd August and arrested by the British on 30th August 1921. But in those 8 days he declared the area liberated of the meddling British and the Hindu Kaffir and establishment of Daulah (Islamic Rule). He was arrested and hung by the British for his role in the brutal ethnic cleansing of Hindus of Malabar.

KUNHI KADIR – He was the Khilafat Secretary of Tanur. He was also a Khilafat Chieftain under Ali Raja. He attempted to rescue Ali Raja by attacking the British troops (Gorkhas soldiers from NE India) between Tirurangadi and Parappananagadi. He was defeated, captured and hanged.

VARIANKUNNATH KUNHAMMAD HAJI – On the introduction of the Khilafat movement he joined it and became one of the chief workers. He organized Khilafat Sabhas, and became the guiding spirit of the Khilafat in Ernad. On the outbreak of the rebellion, he declared himself Khilafat King. He celebrated his accession by the murder of Khan Bahadur Chekkutti, a Moplah retired Police Inspector, who was decapitated while in the arms of his wife. He styled himself Raja of the Hindus, Amir of the Mohammedans and Colonel of the Khilafat Army.

He enforced total control in the area of Ernad and Walluvanad. He imposed taxes, collected donations to his Ayudha (arms) fund and even issued passports to anyone wishing to go out of his territories. His rule started on 22nd August 1921 and ended on 6th January 1922 when British captured him, tried him at Mallapuram and sentenced him to death by shooting.

KUNHI KOYA THANGALHe was the President of the Khilafat Committee, Mallapuram. He was an old man but he wielded immense influence among the moplahs of Mallapuram. He is named in the FIR filed by the British Police as the culprit who forcibly converted the Hindu family of Mr. Komu Menon on 22nd August 1921. On 26th August he made a sermon and instigated the moplahs to attack and fight the police in Pookottur. His band of moplahs drunk on religious zeal attacked the police and were defeated. Kunhi koya was arrested and died in central jail, Cannanore.

SEETHI KOYA THANGAL – Probably the most manipulative Khilafat King after Ali Raja. Seethi Thangal set himself up as King of Kumaraputhur. He claimed to be blessed by his one and only true god and was able to grant immortality to his followers. He ordered 2 moplahs to be shot for some petty crime. He had the gun loaded with blank cartridges. When the guns were fired – there was a lot of smoke and noise – the accused men fell down. But as the guns were loaded with blanks, the men got up unharmed. Seethi Thangal claimed this as his power and said he would make his followers immune to bullets of the British.

All he managed to do was get his followers killed as they attacked Hindu villages (now garrisoned by British military). Ironically he too was shot dead by the British.

CHEMBRASSERI IMBICHI KOYA THANGAL – He was one of the most notorious of the Khilafat Kings. He presided in an area midway between Tuvoor and Karuvarakundu. He held his court on the slope of a bare hillock in the area. He had about 4,000 followers from the neighboring villages. More than 40 Hindu were taken to the Tangal with their, hands tied behind their back, charged with the crime of helping the military by supplying them with milk, tender coconuts etc and 38 of these Hindus were condemned to death. He superintended the work of murder in person and seated on a rock near a well witnessed his men cutting at the neck of his victims and pushing the bodies into the well.
Thirty-eight men were murdered, one of whom a pensioned Head Constable, to whom he owed a grudge, had his head neatly divided into two halves. The Tangal was arrested and shot dead on 20th January 1922.

PALAKMTHODI AVVOCKER MUSALIAR – He was a moplah leader who like Chembrasseri Tangal, took pleasure in having Hindus killed and pushed into a well. He was arrested on 30th June 1922, tried by the Special Tribunal on 29th July 1922 and sentenced to death


MUTHAL PUREDATH NARAYANA MENON – was a Khilafat-Non-Cooperation
worker from the Congress Party. He was in the heart of the rebellion zone in the first days after 20 August. Muthal Puredath Narayana Menon, was a Nair vakil (advocate) of Perintalmanna in the south of the ’fanatic zone’ – (Jungles of South Malabar eg Ernad) he had made serious attempts to behave and mix with the “Jungle Moplahs”. He had previously gone so far as to identify with the moplahs of this area by eating with them and dressing in the fashion of a moplah Tangal. He was the Organising Secretary of the Indian National Congress in Ernad from May 1921 until the rebellion. He had been primarily responsible for the conduct of the Khilafat agitation in interior south Malabar. He was far more deeply involved with the ‘Jungle’ Moplahs than any other outside organizer. He was found, by the courts to be complicit in the riots that commenced on 21st August 1921. Soon after 20 August 1921, the rebels took control of Manjeri where he was staying. With no immediate government power to challenge them, they looked to this familiar figure in the agitation for islamic swaraj in Ernad. He took up the leadership and openly defied the government and led the barbaric moplah marauders to put defy the government & attack Hindu homes. He was appointed as a veritable “Khilafat Governor” of Ernad. He ruled as governor under the direct command of Variankunnath Kunhammad Haji, The Khilafat King of Ernad. As a Khilafat Governor, he presided over the murder and loot of Hindus or Ernad. He organized attacks and loot of government offices and local treasury and he did all this with open support for the new regime. M.P. Narayana Menon was in fact later, convicted in the Court of the Special Judge in Calicut for ’waging war against the King’ and sentenced to transportation (Kaala Pani) for life.


To know more about the origin and the occurrence of the MOPLAH RIOTS & HINDU GENOCIDE click o the link : www.kreately.in/moplah-riots-forgotten-genocide/

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