Kozhikode: Kerala has the notoriety of being the hot bed of Islamic fundamentalism, next only to Kashmir. Since some years, thanks to communal parties who hold the key of State administration, the State, otherwise peaceful and calm, is fast becoming a place of Muslims fundamentalism. With the strong and open support of Muslim community coupled with the vehement patronage of rulers the secular and progressive face of this State has lost its charm. Seizure of arms and ammunition from various places which are known pockets of Islamic terrorism has become a routine affair.
On April 23, police , on getting a secret information, raided a weapon training camp run by a notorious Muslim outfit, a popular front at Naarath, a suburban area of Kannur district. A team of police officers led by Dy. SP Sukumaran conducted the raid and took into custody 21 activists who were involved in weapon training at a building under construction. Two country made bombs, eight swords, bomb making materials, gunpowder and a few utensils were seized by the police. One of the arrested persons is an accused in the murder of a local Vishwa Hindu Parishad worker. The police got some papers indicating some important places which were supposed to be the targets of their action.
Dy SP said that documents seized from the training camp shows that the Social Democratic Party of India ( S D P I) and Popular Front (P F) have some connections with the camp. All the arrested were active workers and office bearers of S D P I and P F. It is to be noted that various agencies are probing the role of some Keralites in the Bengaluru blast and their link with the camp here. Police have also seized documents including identity cards of some foreign nationals. When the police suddenly raided the place some volunteers, who were posted as guards made a lightning escape. They were some foreign nationals who had come here to give training to the terrorists in modern weapons.This clearly shows that the training camp has an international connection. Further investigation on this incident may go to its financial aspects also as there is a genuine doubt about the foreign funding.
The arrested persons were charged with keeping lethal weapons, spreading communal hatred, illegal gatherings, keeping explosives and anti-national activity. Police confiscated 19 mobile phones and sim cards in them were being examined by the police. Some A T M cards which the police got from the venue were also being checked. Details of the A T M cards through which foreign money transactions were made are also being checked and verified. UAE dirham and Saudi riyal were also found out from there.
The northern IGP Shankar Reddy who visited the spot disclosed that only after the preliminary enquiry if needed there would be an enquiry by an outside agency. Officials from Internal Security Enquiry Team and Intelligence Bureau also visited the place. Handing over the case to the National Investigation Agency (N I A) is in the offing Dt. Police has transferred it to the Home Ministry and the Home Ministry has handed the case to the Central Home DT: Police sources said that the case has been bracketed along with those regarding S I MI camp at Panayinkkulam, the hand chopping of prof: T T Joseph at Thodupuzha and Kashmir recruitment.
Police also decided to investigate various charitable institutions and some of them are under scanner in connection with the arrest. Sources said that intelligence wing has already been given instructions in this regard. Some of the terrorist organisation under the cover of charity often use institutions involved in charity work and lure youngsters into unlawful activities.
Four years ago SIMI conducted a similar camp which was aimed at supplying terrorist youths to Kashmir. Within one year a number of similar camps were organised in different parts of Kerala, police, said after questioning the Popular Front Workers. A dummy of a human body recovered from there was used to practice firing. It is also to be noted that bodies of many pet dogs and stray dogs were found dead with injuries from swords. Police did investigations in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts and have attributed some connections between the killing of dogs and sword practice.
The timing of the conducting of camp also is important. The police raided the camp prior to the visit of Narendra Modi to Sivagiri and the exposure from the raid speaks a lot. Besides that, 1st week of May is the 13th anniversary of Marrad massacre in which Hindu fishermen were brutally murdered in Kozhikode district. Till today the real culprits of this cruel killing have not been brought to books. The investigating team and Kerala High Court itself recommended the case to CBI enquiry but nothing has happened so for.
BJP leaders have warned the State government that the anti-national activities of religious fundamentalists have to be checked otherwise, the rulers will have to pay the price for it.
(The writer is a former editor of Kesari, Calicut).