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Appeasement vs national security: Forests of South India are breeding grounds for terrorists, naxalites

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New Delhi, Nov 09: The National Investigation Agency arrested an underground naxalite in connection with the Edakkara Maoist case of Kerala. The arrested persons is identified as R Ragavendran, a resident of Tamil Nadu's Vellore and he has been accused of taking part in an arms training camp of the naxalites in 2016.

Appeasement vs national security: Forests of South India are breeding grounds for terrorists, naxalites

The case is related to the conduct of a training camp, including arms training, flag hoisting and celebrations of formation day of CPI (Maoist) during September 2016 in Nilambur forest, and engaging in ant-national activities threatening the unity, integrity and security of India, the NIA said.

In October the NIA had conducted raids at multiple locations in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in connection with the same case.

This case once again goes on to show that the forests of South India have become happy hunting grounds not only for the naxalites but also for terror groups such as the Islamic State.

Both the naxalites as well as the the operatives of the ISIS have attempted setting up modules inside the forests of South India. During the course of the investigations, the NIA learnt that these operatives were in the process of setting up an ISIS Daishwilayah or province inside the jungles of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. When it was unraveled in 2020, the NIA said that this was the first of its kind plot.

The case arose following the arrest of a few persons who had conspired at Salem and Chennai who had fraudulently activated SIM cards by using multiple identity documents of various persons without their knowledge and consent.

The NIA in its chargesheet said that there were 20 members part of this module, which was headed by Mehboob Pasha, a Bengaluru based operative and Khaja Moideen from Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu.

They had planned on visiting Shivanasamudra in Karnataka and identify a place in the jungle where training could be imparted. Before they were busted by the NIA, they had already procured tents, bows, arrows, boots, arms, ammunition, sleeping bags, ropes and ladders. They had also procured a large quantity of firecrackers to extract explosive content and make IEDs, the NIA chargesheet read.

Further the NIA also learnt that they had scouted for similar hideouts in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, Kolar, Kodagu (Karnataka), Burdwan, Siliguri (West Bengal) and Chittor in Andhra Pradesh. They wanted to set up ISIS provinces in these jungles and then launch systematic attacks with the primary intention of killing Hindu leaders, government officials, police officers and political leaders, the NIA said.

Several experts and officials that OneIndia spoke with said that there is not enough concern raised by the political class about such incidents and the immense radicalisation that has been taking place in the Southern states. Kerala, Tamil and Karnataka to a large extent have been reporting such problems for long now. It is either the lack of understanding or the appeasement politics that have led to South India becoming a hot bed for both terror and naxal activities.

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