Conviction in Kashmir terror recruitment case indicates presence of sleeper cells in Kerala

published on October 3, 2013

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court is going to pronounce the verdict on Kashmir terror recruitment case on Friday in which terror mastermind Thadiyantevide Nazeer and 12 others from Kerala were found guilty. The court acquitted five in the case in want of evidences. The conviction of Nazeer and his men by NIA special court in Kochi points out the fact that sleeper cells of the terror groups are very much active in the state of Kerala.

The case is that Thadiyantevide Nazeer, a native of Kannur in Kerala who was instrumental in recruiting Kerala men for terror camps in Jammu and Kashmir, selected five youngsters from the state to attend a terror training camp. On October 4, 2008 the security forces gunned downed two of them in Kupwara and a week later another three were killed in an encounter at Lolab while they were trying cross the border into Pakistan -occupied kashmir. Those terrorists arrested from the camp revealed to the police that they were recruited for terror training by Nazeer. Nazeer was found guilty under IPC section 121(A) dealing with conspiracy to commit offences against the government for which the court can sentence up to life imprisonment.  On interrogation, the surrendered terrorists disclosed that Abdul Rahim, one among those killed in Kashmir revealed to fellow terrorists that about 180 persons from Kerala are readying to go to Pakistan to undergo terror training. The revelation is significant as there are reports that many sleeper cells are operating in Kerala in the guise of charity organisations and palliative care units.

Among those convicted in the case, include Abdul Jabbar of Malappuram who was among the five youth who tried to cross the border to PoK. As the case falls under IPC section 121, which deals with fighting war against the Government of India,  his punishment can go up to capital punishment. Jabbar who was one among the five Malayalee youths selected for terror camp escaped from the security forces when his fellow terrorists-Abdul Rahim, Mohammed Yasin, Fayas and Fayiz were gunned down by the security forces. Jabbar was working as storekeeper in Perumbavoor in Ernakulam district till he was arrested by the police.

NIA submitted evidences points out that Nazeer was a commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba and was getting foreign funds for their terror activities. Nazeer who was known to be a sympathizer of Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of CPI(M) during his student days, changed his allegiance to Islamic fundamentalist groups after the completion of matriculation. He later joined Jam-I-Iyyathul Ishanya, a fundamentalist sunni faction that suspected to be behind the murder of Chekannoor Moulavi, an lslamic reformist. He was later attracted to Islamic Sevak Sangh (ISS) floated by Abdul Nasser Madani. When ISS was banned he followed Madani to his new outfit People’s Democratic party (PDP). Nazeer’s terror track record is gruesome. When Madani was arrested in connection with Coimbatore blast case in 1997, Nazeer allegedly planted explosive in Coimbatore Press Club to avenge his arrest.  His involvement in serial blasts in Bangalore was also revealed later. The man used to dress up like Osama Bin Laden when produced at the court and chanted words in Arabic had caught lot of media attention during the trial.

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