Kochi police interrogate slain Kerala militant's associates

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Kochi, Oct 26 (UNI) Kochi Police today questioned several former associates of Mohd. Yasin alias Varghese Joseph, a Keralite youth killed in an encounter with the police in Kashmir earlier this month.

While not confirming if anyone had been taken into custody, senior police officials said several of Yasin's former associates here were being questioned to ascertain his links.

Varghese Joseph alias Yasin, 28, was a member of a goonda gang here and had been booked by the police a few years ago in some cases. He had converted to Islam a few months ago and had left the state, telling his family members that he was going to Kozhikode to study the Koran.

According to unconfirmed reports, police had taken into custody a man called Harris, an employee of a local travel agency called Prime Travels, who had allegedly played a role in Yasin's religious conversion. Police however did not confirm it.

Earlier today, senior police officials here confirmed to UNI that four Keralites had been killed in an encounter with the Kashmir Police earlier this month, indicating the spreading roots of the terror network in the southern state.

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