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In trying to target Kanwarias, is the Indian Mujahideen attempting a revival?

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New Delhi, July 26: The almost dead Indian Mujahideen was back in the news after it threatened to blow up the Bareilly railway station. In a letter to the railway station superintendent, a purported operative of the outfit, Munne Khan alias Mullah said that the railway station would be blown up if the Kanwarias pass through the Muslim dominated areas in the city.

In trying to target Kanwarias, is the Indian Mujahideen attempting a revival?

Mullah says, " I, area, commander of the IM want to inform that if Kanwarias pass through the Muslim dominated areas, we will explode the railway station. Better you inform the police and administration."

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It may be recalled that this had in fact turned out to be a sensitive issue. There was a scuffle that had broken out between the two communities over the Kanwar route.

While authorities are taking nothing to chance, they are also verifying the authenticity of the letter. For one, the author of the letter calls himself an area commander. The structure of the IM, when it was fully active, never had any designation such as commander. They operated in a group, with just one top leader who oversaw all operations.

If this claim is true, then it appears that the IM is trying to revive itself. The fact of the matter is that Pakistan's ISI has for long being looking for a home grown outfit to strike in India. After the SIMI, the ISI had nurtured the IM, before the agencies brought their operations to a close.

In the past few years, too the ISI has been trying to pump money and create modules in India. In the busts of the recent past, the agencies came across several modules of the Islamic State in northern India. However further investigations conducted always pointed towards a Pakistan link, which made the agencies suspicious that it was the ISI was which was orchestrating this.

Towards the close of last year, efforts were stepped up to track down an operative of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh, who was tasked with the revival of the Indian Mujahideen. The operative Idris was in touch with several operatives in West Bengal, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh and was making a bid to revive the IM.

The IM which had peaked between 2008 and 2013 witnessed a huge downfall following the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal and two of his accomplices. However the IM did make efforts to revive the outfit and had even sent Abdul Subhan, one of the founding members to India last year. He was however arrested and during his interrogation said that his primary task was to revive the IM.

An report by the Intelligence Bureau states that the task of reviving the IM has now been handed over to the JuMB. This outfit has a strong presence in West Bengal and has been responsible for a spate of incidents. This was the same outfit which was preparing the bombs at Burdwan.

Officials say that there is a sense of desperation and hence there are attempts being made to revive the IM. The IM was a home grown group, which carried out attacks at the behest of the ISI. However since the entire operation and execution took place in India, it gave Pakistan a deniability factor.

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