Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 16 (PTI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday warned of stringent action against those indulging in "poisonous campaign" with an aim to disrupt communal harmony of the state and said they would be dealt with "mercilessly." Vijayan, at a high level meeting, directed the top brass to crack down on the efforts of certain forces to create unrest in society and cause division and hatred among the people, a CMO statement said here.

The Chief Minister's statement assumes significance at a time when the southern state is witnessing a raging debate over the controversial 'narcotic jihad' remark by Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, which was severely criticised by various political parties and cultural leaders.

The opposition Congress had also expressed concern that some vested interests were using the Catholic bishop's remarks for polarising the society on communal lines through social media platforms.

"Kerala is a state known for its secular tradition and religious brotherhood. A deliberate attempt to undermine this general characteristics of the state is going on from some quarters. Stringent action will be taken against such attempts," Vijayan said.

Those who carry out poisonous campaigns including that through the social media platforms, with an aim to create communal division, would be dealt with mercilessly, he said.

The Chief Minister also urged the officials to give special focus on to curb such trends via social media platforms and bring the culprits before the law, the statement added.

Chief Secretary V P Joy, Home Secretary K Jose and DGP Anil Kant were among the top officials who attended the high level meeting.