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Rise of political Islam in Kerala and how PFI is infiltrating feeder outfits of political parties

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Kochi, July 21: The investigations being conducted into the murder of Abhimanyu, a leader of the CPI(M)'s student outfit, SFI has thrown open several angles. He was murdered on July 1 and the police say that it was a case of political rivalry among the students wing.

    Abhimanyu

    The scanner is on the Social Democratic Party of India, which is the political wing of the Popular Front of India, which is under the scanner of the National Investigation Agency for alleged terror links.

    There was an Intelligence Bureau warning that SDPI activists had infiltrated into several feeder outfits of political parties. While the parties rejected it at first, they have now started taking the waning seriously. This had even prompted a comment by senior Muslim League leader, P K Kunhalikutty who said that the SDPI should be thrown out of the state.

    An IB officer tells OneIndia that they had been pointing out this dangerous trend for long.

    The PFI and its units are radical in nature. They have a spread across Kerala, Karnataka and have even reached the North East. Their idea is to infiltrate into parties and create political Islam. They have several feeder outfits which go about propagating radical Islam, the officer adds.

    He also says that by getting into political parties at the feeder levels, they would want to propagate political Islam. They are also trying to influence the students' unions through their Campus Front of India.

    The killing of Abhimanyu was clearly a rivalry between the PFI and CPI(M). The various notes seized by the Kerala police clearly indicate the CFI had a larger agenda and was avenging the killing of some of its members. They accused had discussed wider strategies of infiltrating into unions and also revenge.

    The police said that the president of the CFI, Muhammad Ali arrested on the Kerala-Karnataka border had hatched the plot. It was he who had called the SDPI activists who unleashed terror on the campus that culminated in the murder.

    But the CPI(M) won't act:

    While this case clearly shows that there is rivalry galore, the CPI(M) would however not suggest or even ban the PFI. Even though there is a momentum growing to ban the PFI, the CPI(M) in Kerala has stayed mum.

    The CPI(M) says that both the PFI and RSS indulge in the communisation of society and states that both are two sides of the same coin.

    The other factor that comes into play is the sheer clout that the PFI enjoys in Kerala. With around 3 lakh sympathisers and 25,000 members, the outfit is capable of influencing outcomes of elections to a large extent. Moreover its political wing, SDPI enjoys a considerable amount of clout among the voters.

    The PFI is also capable of whipping up Muslim sentiments, which comes in handy during the elections. Political parties in Kerala as well as Karnataka feel that a ban on the PFI could be seen as an anti-Muslim move.

    Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan recently said that it is not the policy of the government to ban any communal or terrorist outfit. Any outfit that creates riots in India and divides society, then it should be banned and that organisation is the RSS, he said. On his stand on the ban on the PFI, he says that such organisations cannot be dealt with ban and our experience in the past has shown that.

    He said that way to deal with such groups is by taking legal action. A happy hunting ground: Kerala has often been termed as breeding ground for extremists, radicals and terrorists. The Intelligence Bureau has forever been signalling these concerns, but successive governments in Kerala have turned a blind eye to the issue.

    Take for instance the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India, which was imposed by the Union Government in 2002. While the ban appeared to be effective in most parts of the country, it had no effect in Kerala. The famous Wagamon camp comprising members of the SIMI, backed by elements in the PFI was held in Kerala.

    The camp discussed ways of beating the ban and following the meeting, the Indian Mujahideen was born. IB officials tell OneIndia, that the activities of the PFI continue unabated. In the past 25 years the PFI has been accused of carrying out at least 30 high profile murders.

    It was also involved in the incident in which the hands of a professor was chopped off. The other issue is that the activities of these groups is not restricted to Kerala alone. This is a re-grouping venue for them and their activities spill over into states such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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