Kerala 'slip' under glare

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By JOHN MARY in Thiruvananthapuram
  • Published 16.08.08

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug. 16: A two-year-old case in Kerala involving the arrest and let-off of alleged jihadis returned under focus today after Gujarat police claimed that some of the suspects behind the July serial blasts had trained in the jungles of the southern state.

On August 15, 2006, Kerala police had picked up 18 activists after a meeting at Binanipuram near Aluva in Ernakulam district. The FIR, filed under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, had named five persons — Ansar Moulavi, Shaduli, Nizamuddin, Abdul Rafeeq and Shamas. The rest were set free.

The arrested five were later released on bail and the police are yet to bring charges against them.

Now, among those who have landed in the custody of Rajasthan police after the deadly May 13 Jaipur blasts are Shaduli and Ansar Moulavi.

Police sources said that after being released on bail, Shaduli and Ansar Moulavi had reportedly attended training camps in Vagamon, in Kerala’s Idukki district, in December 2007 and January this year.

The role of two police officers who handled the case is also under the scanner following allegations that they deliberately messed up to save the former Simi duo.

But such “bungling” — deliberate or not — was a local phenomenon, the sources said, as police at the state level never had any doubt that the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India should continue. Several new fronts, they added, had sprung up.

Reacting to reports of secret sessions in jungles, forest minister Benoy Viswom said his department had information on meetings of suspicious extremist elements. But the central government had not passed on any information regarding such sessions to the forest department.