Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
Jehadi links now stretch from Kashmir to Kovalam

Jehadi links now stretch from Kashmir to Kovalam

Author: Political Bureau
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: October 8, 2008

Introduction: Militant from Kerala Killed In Valley While Trying To Cross Over To PoK

The Army and the Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir have killed a militant hailing from Kerala in the Lolab Valley of Kashmir. The development formally announces the emergence of Kerala as a catchment area for jehadis. For long, security experts have been maintaining that Kerala jehadists have close links with the Salafi-jehadi movement.

Central agencies have been monitoring certain leads which said a group of people hailing from Kerala were trying to enter Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) through north Kashmir with the LeT's support. The information was shared with the army headquarters in the Capital and a plan was chalked out to nab the exfiltrating group with the help of the state police.

A militant identified as Shakeel Mohammed hailing from Kovalam was killed in the encounter that took place between Nine Para and Special Operations Group in Dever area of Lolab Valley in North Kashmir. A hunt is on to track down those who have escaped after the encounter, agency reports said.

Shakeel is the first Keralite to have been killed in nearly two decades of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. A photo identity card was found from his pocket besides some religious writings written in Malayalam. Kerala's tryst with Islamic fundamentalism is not new. Investigations into the recent terror attacks had revealed that the state had acted as Simi's training ground on more than a couple of occasions. The men who attacked Ahmedabad and Delhi were trained at separate camps at Beenanipuram in Cochin district and Thangalpara in Idukki district.

Simi has been operating in Kerala under the cover of some 12 front organisations, at least two of which are based in Thiruvananthapuram, and a third in Kochi. Kondotty in Malappuram district has also emerged as a hotbed of Simi activities.

An official declaration submitted on June 1, 2006, by the Kerala government before the tribunal examining the legality of the ban on Simi, indicated that the outfit's cadres had "lately" developed links with the LeT. Reports from various agencies, including the state police special branch, too, indicate that Simi has been operating under the cover of religious study centres, rural development and research centres. Security agencies say that funds for such activities flow in from contacts in Kuwait and Pakistan.

Coming back to the J&K incident, a team of Kerala police is scheduled to visit Kashmir valley soon for carrying out the identification process of the slain militant. The security agencies believe that the group is still scattered over the area and a hunt is on to nab others to ascertain the Lashkar's network in Kerala. Another militant was killed in the same area but his identification showed that he was from Pakistan but was part of the same group that was exfiltrating into PoK along with a group of Keralites.

LeT has been trying to make inroads into the country's hinterland and had sought recruits from various parts of the country. In February, Mohammed Yahya Kammukutty hailing from Mukkom in Kozhikode district of Kerala, was arrested as part of a continuing probe into the Simi network in Karnataka.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements