NIA takes 3 Kerala youths into custody over alleged Maoist links

NIA takes 3 Kerala youths into custody over alleged Maoist links
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Kozhikode/Kochi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken into custody three youths, suspected of being in contact with Alan Shuhaib and Thaha Fazal who were earlier arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) over alleged Maoist links.

Those taken into custody were Kozhikode native Abhilash Padachery, an online journalist, and Wayanad natives Vijith Vijayan and Eldo Wilson. They were questioned for several hours for a second consecutive day on Saturday.

The NIA said that these three youths had a role in inducting Alan and Thaha into the Maoist outfit.

A team led by DySP K Vijayakumar of the Kochi NIA unit took Vijith and Eldo into custody from their rented house at Peruvayal in Kozhikode on Friday morning. They were running a tuition centre. Another person, Sajith who stayed with them, had left for his native place in Palakkad just before the start of the lockdown. Enquiries are being made about him as well.

The NIA sleuths seized eight mobile phones, seven SIM cards, two memory cards, one laptop, seven pen drives, one voice recorder and nine books from the houses of Abhilash, and Vijith and Eldo. The NIA statement also said that they found several documents supporting Left-wing extremism and CPI (Maoist).

Abhilash, who was let off on Friday night, was summoned for questioning again on Saturday. Abhilash reportedly said that he had no Maoist links and that he did not know Alan and Thaha. 

The NIA had submitted a charge-sheet on April 27, arraigning Alan, Thaha and C P Usman, who is absconding, as accused in the Pantheerankavu Maoist case.

The police also conducted searches at the house of Maoist activist C P Jaleel, who was killed in Wayanad. His ancestral house at Pandikkad and the brother's house were searched.

Maoist outfits formed in 10 districts

The NIA has found that Maoist outfits were formed in 10 districts in Kerala, by including youths with radical Left ideologies.

Attempts were allegedly made to induct even those from recognised Left youth outfits.

The NIA found evidence for this while probing the Pantheerankavu case. An investigation about two people, who reportedly inducted Alan and Thaha into the outfit, unearthed more information about recruitments in other districts.

The urban Maoist outfit reportedly started functioning in November 2018. They first started social media groups, criticising the functioning of the Left parties. Youths from the northern districts were inducted in the first phase.

The Pantheerankavu police arrested Alan and Thaha when recruitment was completed in various districts.

After the NIA took over the investigation, their activities abated. But the district-level youth groups reportedly continued to be active under other names.

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