16 June, 2021

The Serpent In Paradise

Fringe militant groups explode to the surface with a series of blasts in the once peaceful south

The Serpent In Paradise

INDIA has finally done it in the 50th year of its independence: from Kashmir to Kerala, the country is now united in the flames of communal violence. A fact underlined by the first ever major bomb blast to rock God's Own Country—the train explosion on December 6 in Thrissur, Kerala.

Investigations into the explosion—the third in a series of blasts that coincided with the fifth anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya—has put the spotlight on several radical Islamic groups that operate in north Kerala and are suspected to have links with extremist out-fits in Tamil Nadu. Indications seem to be that the Thrissur blast was the handiwork of the Islamic Defence Force, a Tamil Nadu-based organisation whose pamphlets were recovered from the mangled bogie. Moreover, the explosion resembled the ones that occurred in Tiruchirapalli and Erode and all three targeted trains—Pandian Express, Cheran Express and Alapuzha Express—originated from Chennai. And, the mispelling of Kerala as Kerela in the pamphlets indicated an...

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