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Delhi HC blast: Did Kerala module fund it?

Last updated on: September 16, 2011 15:14 IST

Delhi HC blast: Did Kerala module fund it?

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Vicky Nanjappa

The National Investigating Agency has claimed that it has almost cracked the Delhi blasts case. It is now ascertained that it was an operation planned in the Kishtwar region of Jammu and Kashmir. But did the funding of the operation come from Kerala? Vicky Nanjappa analyses.

The big question is whether this case is really that simple. The angle which both the NIA and the Intelligence Bureau would be looking to probe now is whether this new network in Kashmir has a connection with other networks across the country.

The primary issue that has been noticed is that a lot of the funds that are being generated for terror-related operations come from the south.

IB sources say that they have notice a large part of the money for operations in the Valley is coming in from states such as Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The Kashmir network is very heavily dependant on the funds from Kerala, it has seemingly become an extremely easy channel for terror operatives.

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Image: Commandos and police officers stand guard near the site of a bomb blast outside Delhi HC
Photographs: Reuters
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Kashmiri had announced he would train cadres from Kerala

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The interrogations are expected to provide answers, which would soon become a focal point of the investigations. A senior police official from Kerala confirms that there is a request from both the IB and the NIA to provide more details about the networks in the state which are linked to Kashmir.

"We have conducted our own investigations and have found a direct link between the state and the Valley on more than one occasion," he said.

The Kerala-Kashmir link was set up at the insistence of slain Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami operational chief and Al Qeada commander Ilyas Kashmiri who, a while ago, had openly announced that he would train a lot of cadres from Kerala.

The Inter-Services Intelligence and also the HuJI understands the potential in Kerala for two reasons. The first obvious reason is that Kerala is a hub for hawala transactions and a lot of that money can be transferred to terror operations.

Secondly, there is a volatile environment in this state and it is easier to pick up recruits. There is also another aspect, and that is that there are several youth who do not require any sort of motivation from external forces.

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Image: Ilyas Kashmiri

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Indians engaging in fidayeen activities shocked the country

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There are several self-motivated youth who feel strongly about several issues and are ready to carry out operations on their own.

Today, when one looks at the terror networks in Kerala, it becomes clear that there is no proper organisation and command. What the HuJI is trying to do is to bring them all under one forum so that a formidable force can be formed.

Two years ago, there was an interesting incident emerging out of Kerala which showed signs of the link to the Valley. During a gun battle in the Valley with hardcore terror cadres, it was found that seven of them were from Kerala.

This was probably for the first time that Indians were engaged in a fidayeen battle in the Valley and made the entire country sit up and take notice. During the probe, it was also found that several hundred youth from Kerala had gone missing and could have possibly been taken in by jihadist groups fighting in Kashmir.

As the investigations progressed, there were more leads that emerged and a probe which was also conducted by the Bangalore police also led to the arrest of a key operative Sarfaraz Nawaz. This person was brought in from Muscat and it was found that he was a key operative who reported to a module in Kerala.

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The HuJI has been trying to make inroads in Kerala

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During the probe he also told his interrogators that there was a constant effort being made to set up a proper channel between Kerala and Kashmir.

Today when the investigations into the Delhi blasts are being conducted, the team feels that it should dig deeper into the Kerala network since it has a direct Kashmir connection. What they are tying to look into is whether a module from Kerala helped carry out/fund this attack.

They are also trying to find out how much of the funds sourced from Kerala for activities in the Valley were used for this blast. It would also be interesting for the investigators to find out if there is a dedicated channel in Kerala which is helping setting up a large HuJI base in Kashmir.

The HuJI, according to intelligence reports has been trying to make inroads in the Valley. Ever since Kashmiri made the statement regarding a fight in Kashmir, there has been a lot of effort on part of these cadres to set up a network.

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Kerala to Kashmir route can turn out to be a big headache

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While it may have been tough for them to recruit cadres from other parts of the country, they did find it relatively easy to pick up cadres from Kerala.

For this the investigators would revisit the statements given by Nawaz and also T Nasir (one of the accused in the Bangalore serial blasts) since these men have spoken about how they were trying to select cadres for operations in Kashmir.

"The Kerala to Kashmir route is something that can turn out to be a big headache and it is very important to understand and crack this soon," said an IB source.

This would also require a lot of help from countries such as Oman, since a major part of the Kerala module which takes care of the funding is settled there

"The Delhi blast is just a pointer of things to come, and it is important that it is curbed before it becomes a headache that none can cure," added the officer.

 


Image: Police teams searching the blast site in Bangalore
Photographs: KPN photos
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