16 June, 2021

A Rude Awakening

The state's fundamentalist underworld comes under the spotlight

A Rude Awakening

WITH the Central government's concern over the spread of terrorism in Kerala, a clutch of local Islamic organisations have come under close scrutiny. Chief minister E.K. Nayanar, while contesting Union home minister L.K. Advani's claims on the scale of their activity, admitted that terrorist groups have been operating in the state.

On the government's shortlist are radical Islamic outfits such as the National Development Front (NDF), Jam-Iyathul Ehsaniya and Al Umma, whose base of operations covers Malappuram, Kozhikode and Thrissur districts. The recent arrest of People Democratic Party (PDP) chairman Abdul Nasser Madani for allegedly harbouring Al Umma militants involved in the Coimbatore blasts has spawned speculation about a nexus between the PDP and the extremists.

In police perception the militant groups, which sprang up after the Babri Masjid demolition, pursue a subversive agenda: advocating violence and aggressive proselytisation. Their cadre consist of young men from impoverished families and discontented elements...

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