Kozhikode | The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), a key ally of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, organised a massive rally here on Thursday denouncing the reported indiscriminate killings of civilians, including women and children, in the Israeli attack on the Gaza strip.
Tens of thousands of IUML supporters took part in the Palestine Solidarity Human Rights rally, inaugurated by IUML leader Panakkad Syed Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal.
Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Shashi Tharoor attended the event as the chief guest.
Tharoor, addressing the gathering, lamented what he termed as "one of the most distressing human rights catastrophes" witnessed over the past 19 days.
"This may well be one of the most significant political rallies we have seen in India and perhaps across the world in defence of human rights and in favor of peace. This is a rally for peace," the Thiruvananthapuram MP said.
He said that innocent women and children had suffered casualties, initially in Israel and subsequently in Gaza, and emphasised the imperative of ending this conflict.
Tharoor underscored India's historical commitment to peace, tracing it back to the era of Mahatma Gandhi.
"We have always stood for a permanent solution to this crisis," he said.
In unequivocal terms, Tharoor also condemned the attack carried by Palestinian armed group Hamas in Israel on October 7, describing it as an 'act of terror'.
"On October 7, terrorists attacked Israel and claimed 1,400 lives. Two hundred individuals were taken hostage. In response, Israel killed 6000 people. The bombing continues," he said.
The Congress leader said that this was not an issue confined to Muslims alone, but a matter of fundamental human rights.
"The bomb falls without asking anyone's religion. Christians constitute one to two percent of the Palestinian population. They too have perished in this conflict," he asserted.
Recollecting his tenure as a UN diplomat, Tharoor recounted his personal meetings with Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat, who often referenced Indira Gandhi with pride, highlighting India's enduring support for Palestine.