MHA’s decision to sanction NIA branch in Chennai is perfect answer to fighting radicalisation in TN
New Delhi, Sep 29: In an important move, the Ministry of Home Affairs sanctioned three additional branches of the National Investigation Agency. The branches were sanctioned at Chennai, Imphal and Ranchi.
The NIA has its branches also at Guwahati, Mumbai, Jammu, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow, Raipur and Chandigarh. This decision of GoI will help in ensuring quick response to any emergent situation in the concerned States by the premier anti-terror investigation agency of the country. It will strengthen NIA's capability in investigation of terrorism-related cases and other national security related matters. It will also facilitate timely collection of crucial information and evidence related to such offences, the NIA said in a note.
The most important part of this decision was to sanction a branch at Chennai. The state of Tamil Nadu has over the years seen a steep rise in radicalisation and terror groups such as the Islamic State have had its Indian origins in this state.
Over the years, several incidents of terror have been reported in Tamil Nadu. Recently, the NIA learnt that the murder of TN SSI, Wilson was committed with the intention of creating terror in the minds of people.
Wilson, Special Sub-Inspector of Kaliyakkavilai Police station was shot and stabbed to death on January 1 by Shameem and Thowfek, while the officer was performing duty at Kaliyakkavilai Market Road check post.
After the arrest of the assailants on January 15 2020, it was revealed that they had committed the murder of the police officer with the intention to create terror in the minds of people, including Police, as part of waging violent jihad.
It was revealed that Khaja Mohideen was a member of the proscribed terrorist organisation Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/Daish. Since May, 2019, he had radicalised Abdul Shameem and Thowfeek on the perverted jihadi (violent extremist) ideology and recruited them into his terrorist gang to carry out violent attacks against establishment especially Police, in Tamil Nadu, to bring Islamic Rule or Shariah.
It is a well known fact that since 2016, investigating agencies have carried out several arrests and also seized jihadi propaganda material in South India, especially in Kerala and to a large extent in Tamil Nadu.
In 2019, the NIA had conducted raids at several locations in Tail Nadu. It was found that a Coimbatore module was operating in a similar fashion like the one in Kerala. Both these modules had planned on carrying out attacks in South India, the NIA learnt.
The NIA found that a person by the name Mohammad Azharuddin had recruited persons both from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. was the leader of the module and had been maintaining the Facebook page named "KhilafahGFX", through which he had been propagating the ideology of ISIS/ Daish. The accused was a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim and other members of the module have also been sharing radical contents attributed to Zahran Hashim, over the social media.
Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, has had a long run with the ISIS. The first known ISIS recruit in India, Haha Fakruddin is from Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. Haha was in fact radicalised by a Cuddalore based group, following which he went to Singapore and then to Syria before joining the ISIS.
IB officials say that Tamil Nadu and Kerala face the bigger problems where the ISIS is concerned. The network is deeply infested in Tamil Nadu. To add to Kerala's worries is the Al-Qaeda, which operates as the Base Movement in the state.
The Islamic radicalisation in Kerala has been found to be multi-dimensional. The ISIS and the Al-Qaeda's Base Movement continue to operate in both Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It was found that both were operating through its network in Colombo.
Now coming to some very interesting data pieced together by the Indian agencies. It was found that the state that surfs for ISIS-related content the most is Kerala. This is followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and then Karnataka.