Kochi, March 26: A camp at Aluva in the Ernakulam district of Kerala is under the scanner of the National Investigating Agency which is currently miffed with several state governments for not doing enough in the cases against the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
The five SIMI operatives who have been on the run since October 2013 after they broke out from the Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh attended a camp at Aluva in Kerala which was meant to discuss terror related activities, Intelligence Bureau officials have told OneIndia.
Aluva which is a suburb of Kochi in the Ernakulam district of Kerala is located on the River Periyar. Intelligence Bureau officials say that the SIMI is regrouping and this meeting at Aluva was held only to discuss the future course of action.
Kerala has been SIMI's favourite hide out
Due to the various factors in Kerala right from a radicalized mindset among many to the politics in the state, it has been a favourite hiding ground for several persons indulging in acts of terror.
Yasin Bhatkal who had carried out a series of blasts took shelter in a home stay in Munnar for two weeks before he went on to carry out a few more attacks.
With the NIA now on the hunt for the SIMI fugitives who had escaped from jail over a year back, Intelligence is trickling in which suggests that they had made several visits to Aluva.
A camp at Aluva which was aimed a regrouping several members of the SIMI is being seen as a big development by the security agencies. These kinds of camps are extremely dangerous and we have seen in the past as well how the members regrouped and became extremely dangerous.
Aluva was on the list of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba too
Aluva has been used in the past by members of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba too. The confessional statement by Abdul Karim Tunda, a key Lashkar operative gives a clear indication of how Aluva had been used a training ground by several operatives.
Tunda gave a perspective as to how these camps not always train for combat, but to hold meetings for a large gathering of people. It is aimed at changing the mindset of the people at large so that they carry out anti India activities, Tunda had also revealed.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that these camps have mushroomed on and off in various parts of Kerala. There are preachers flown in from Saudi Arabia who give out sermons only with an intention of radicalizing the youth.
The Wagamon hill camp
A camp similar to the one held in Aluva was also conducted in Wagamon, a hill station located in Kottayam-Idukki border of Kottayam district of Kerala. The camp that was held in 2007 paved the way for the birth of the Indian Mujahideen.
Several members of the Indian Muajhideen such as Yasin, Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal were part of this camp. The camp was headed by SIMI chief Safdar Nagori who swore revenge against India.
This camp was quickly followed up by another in Hubbali and had more or the less the same agenda. These camps ensured the regrouping of various youth who went on to form the Indian Mujahideen. Tunda during his interrogation also speaks about the camp at Wagamon.
He had told the police that several such camps were held in various parts of Kerala which had helped the groups flourish. These camps not help change the mindset but also increase the recruitments, the police had also found while questioning Tunda.
NIA to file a general FIR
The NIA has realized the potential risk the five fugitives of the SIMI pose to national security. They have been relatively quiet for some time now. However their hand has been seen in the various blasts that rocked the country which include the Bengaluru Church Street blast and also the Chennai train blast.
They have been blamed for a blast in Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh and also a spate of robberies in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The NIA has been chasing these people, but the success rate has not been up to the mark as they find the respective state governments to be extremely non-cooperative.
The NIA which has been waiting all these days for the states to hand over this case has now decided to go by its charter which empowers them to take over cases suo motu. An FIR against these SIMI members will be registered and we will go ahead with the case, an officer with the NIA informed.
It is extremely important that these cases get a closure as these men are dangerous and on the run.
They will take part in camps and seek support in a bid to revive the SIMI. Their primary intention of escaping from jail was to revive the SIMI and also secure the release of their supreme leader Safdar Nagori, the NIA official also points out.