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Growing politics-terror nexus in Kerala a worry: NIA

October 27, 2011 17:34 IST
The shadow of terror is growing in Kerala, says the National Investigation Agency.

Disturbed by the growing number of terrorists from the state, the NIA has drawn up several lists that highlight the gravity of the situation.

Recently added to the list of absconders are Mohammad Ashar and P Yusuf, the two accused in the Kozhikode twin blasts case. Yusuf arranged the material required to carry out the twin blasts at the bus stand in Kozhikode in 2006 while the bomb was prepared at Ashar's house

The NIA has now written to the Home Ministry to act against the duo and requested that an Interpol alert be issued against them.

Yusuf, according to an Intelligence Bureau report, is away at Saudi Arabia while Ashar is at Dubai. These youths from Kerala continue to find the Gulf as a safe haven due to the large number of sympathisers over there. Moreover, the entire money trail for any terror operation in Kerala is from the Gulf.

The duo, according to NIA's investigation, had no real inkling towards terror until 2003. However, things changed when they came in contact with T Nasir, an accused in the Bengaluru blasts case. Yusuf and Ashar hail from Cheruparamba and Thaliparamba near Kannur, which is notorious for its communal flare-ups.

The information that has been trickling in from the various accused do not give a complete picture. However, what investigators realise is that it is a cocktail of both politics and terror that is playing truant in the state.

Nasir himself, during his interrogation, said that they were well aware that politicians were looking for people like him, and for a quick buck they undertook such activities.

To the world it looked like a jihadi operation, but in reality many of these attacks have been politically-motivated. The NIA investigation has also found that such incidents lead up to the arrest of several youths and this becomes a plank during the elections. Such incidents are on the rise.

The NIA is also foxed with the ease in which Yusuf and Ashar managed to slip out of the country. The latest information suggests that the two have decent jobs and life for them is pretty much normal. Not only do they enjoy political patronage, but ther also have the right set of contacts to give the police the slip over here. The NIA is in touch with the Dubai police seeking help to nab these persons.

The NIA, during its probe, has found the mindset among several youth to be extremely dangerous in Kerala. They openly support jihadi groups in Pakistan and have started to believe that this is the ideology that needs to be followed.

NIA officials say that it is difficult to make sense out of the operations over here. They have an ideology and do subscribe to the views of various outfits. However, what makes the job harder is that they also know fully well on how to operate individually in smaller groups, which makes the job even worse.

Although not an impossible task it would still take time to shut down the terror shop in this state, the NIA also pointed out.

This could happen with a higher rate of conviction and a stronger policy apart from some excellent investigation.

Vicky Nanjappa