Quick Edit | 'Islamist extremism gaining solid ground in Kerala'

Islamist extremism gaining solid ground in Kerala
Terrorist. Representative image

Islamist extremism is gaining solid ground in Kerala, if intelligence reports of the state police are anything to go by.

The recent knifing of Abhimanyu, an SFI activist, on the Maharaja's College campus points to this trend, investigators say.

Sources said there were 'conscious and proactive' efforts to innocuously infiltrate the ranks of the police, thereby creating a 'clout group' which could, over time, provide tactical support to fringe elements acting against the state.

Read more:  Kerala police probe link between Abhimanyu murder and hand-chopping case

Onmanorama had recently reported that Kerala was the sought-after recruitment ground for Islamic State (ISIS). The radical and violent organisation, spreading terror across the Middle East, was looking for impressionable young men and women to be indoctrinated and transported to countries where ISIS had a considerable presence.

WhatsApp group

There were reports that a WhatsApp group called Pacha Velichom (Green Beacon) was active in the police ranks till it was disbanded after the Abhimanyu incident. However, Onmanorama could not independently verify the veracity of the report.

Proclaimed aims

The group comprised policemen who vowed their allegiance to hardline Islamist doctrines. The group's stated aims included: securing a considerable presence in police associations; strengthening the functioning of the group; and bringing in more policemen under the fold.

Trust issues

A former sub-divisional officer in the force said the trend was disturbing as this could spark trust issues within the force which operated above petty communal and divisive lines.

Specific training

The police were looking at the manner in which the 'deep-penetration wound' was inflicted on Abhimanyu. The police said the 'professional' extermination of the student could only be the handiwork of a trained individual or gang.

Arms training

Sources said the Wagamon arms training case of 2007 and the 2013 Narath arms case pointed to the fact that hardliners were turning to 'systematic arms training.'

In the Narath incident, the exhortation was to use explosives and lethal arms to fight back the 'oppression' faced by the community.

(18 Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) men were convicted in the Wagamon case and the Narath case of 2013 saw the conviction of 21 PFI and SDPI activists).

Under scanner

The radical wings of political parties had for long been under the scanner of the police intelligence. But, the soft stance adopted by successive governments blunted any action of the police in curbing extremist menace.

Political manoeuvres

The SDPI, the political front of PFI, made its presence felt in the political space by winning 14 municipal seats in 2010 in Kerala. In the 2016 assembly elections, SDPI fielded candidates in 89 constituencies and secured 1.23 lakh votes altogether. However, the vote share was only 0.61 per cent.

Political observers said major political parties like the CPM and the Congress could be worried of a share of their votes flowing out. Though the cumulative effect could be something, the low vote share and the total number of votes polled indicate a sub-par presence and influence, at least in Kerala.

Read more: Latest Kerala news

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.