God’s Own Terror?
A disturbing trend has developed in Kerala.
Taliban-style courts in God’s Own Country
‘Hotbed of terrorism’ is not the usual label for Kerala. But intelligence gathered by disparate agencies over the last few years suggests the description may not be far off the mark. Confirmation of this came with the horrifying incident of July 4, when a college lecturer’s right hand was chopped off in Moovattupuzha, a town in Eranakulam district. The attack on T J Joseph was apparently in retaliation for setting a question paper that allegedly hurt Muslim sentiments. Police raids on offices of the Popular Front of India (PFI), whose activists are believed to be behind the attack, have exposed a well-oiled, pan-Islamist network fed by a heady mix of Wahhabism and hawala. Kerala’s deep-rooted Gulf links also come in handy for the PFI.
The revelations of the last two weeks are startling. It includes al-Qaida training tapes, Taliban-style courts that dispense justice according to Shariat law, literature on conversion, explosives enough to kill dozens, and documents indicating unusual interest in the Indian Navy.
The policemen who seized the CDs from PFI offices later reported disgust and disbelief at videos showing brutal punishment – such as the severing of limbs – inflicted on “enemies of faith”. Some shots had activists slaughtering animals, apparently to harden them.
Fingerprints of the banned al-Umma, which was behind the Coimbatore bombings, were found to be all over the murder of three Hindu youth – in Malappuram, Palakkad and Thrissur – reportedly for having relations with Muslim women.
In July 1993, reformist Islamic scholar Moulavi Abdul Hassan Chekannur was abducted from his home and slaughtered allegedly by hardliners.
But perhaps the jihadi network first became really visible in Marad, a sleepy fishing hamlet in Kozhikode district. On May 2, 2003, eight Hindu fishermen were executed on the beach by a crack team, which appeared out of nowhere. It was said to be a revenge attack and the execution betrayed a chillingly high level of training.
Barely two years later, Kerala’s links with the global jihad became clear when four young Malayali men were killed in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir. They were en route to PoK for training. The incident brought some disquieting facts to light, not least the extensive recruitment of Kerala’s young men for jihadi operations. Official estimates say as many as 300 young Malayalis were recruited from different parts of the state.
New Kerala outfit on terror radar
TNN, Aug 5, 2010
NEW DELHI: A new outfit is under scanner in Kerala for its alleged anti-India ideology. The Popular Front of India (PFI) calls India its enemy and asks for ‘total Muslim empowerment’.
Times Now has access to documents seized from activists of the controversial outfit, which prove its anti-national ideology. The documents portray the nation as its enemy and calls to work towards ‘total Muslim empowerment’.
Kerala CM reignites ‘love jihad’ theory
TNN, Jul 26, 2010
Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan’s charge that the Popular Front of India (PFI), which allegedly masterminded the Taliban-style attack on a college lecturer, had plans to Islamize Kerala in 20 years using “money and marriages” has reignited the “love jihad’ controversy, hotly debated in the state last year.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Saturday, VS said PFI was trying to multiply Muslim numbers in the state “by influencing youth of other religions and converting them by giving money, marrying them to Muslim women and thus producing kids of the community.”
In a way, the CM was endorsing the concerns expressed by the Kerala high court, which in August 2009, asked the state police to probe if there was an organised racket working to lure youth for conversion using love and money.
The HC order followed allegations levelled by two girls that they were lured using love by boys who later tried to expose them to jihadi literature and sexual abuse by their friends. The judge called for a probe inviting protests from Muslim groups.