Govt doctor provided medical help for SIMI camp?

via Daily Pioneer published on April 17, 2010

KOCHI: The sleuths of the National Investigation Agency have reportedly found that banned Islamist outfit had held the terror training camp at the high-altitude hill resort of Vagamon in Kerala’s Idukki district by arranging all the requirements any military exercise normally would have. The INA is now looking into the activities of a young doctor in Government service who had provided medical help to the participants in the camp.

Security agencies believe that the training camp SIMI held at Vagamon in December, 2007 was in fact the springboard of the terror strikes by LeT and Indian Mujahiddin in the various Indian cities in 2008. It was the Gujarat Police that had first come across the information on the SIMI camp during its investigations into the Ahmedabad blasts and the failed terror strike of Surat. Several terror men related to the camp had already been arrested.

The Central Intelligence Bureau is said to have informed the NIA that the young doctor who had provided medical support for the SIMI camp had direct connections with the terror operations in different districts of Kerala. The NIA is likely to question the doctor, hailing from Kollam district, soon. It is reported that the doctor could have been involved in the secret SIMI camp held at Panayikkulam near Kochi in 2008.

Some of the associates of this young doctor also are under the NIA’s scanner. Prominent among these associates is a driver of the tribal medical mobile unit, who is said to be a neighbour of one of the participants in a secret 2006 SIMI camp. This participant had escaped from the case allegedly due to the interference of high-ranking officials. According to the investigators, the SIMI camp at Panayikkulam was where the first plans for major terror strikes were prepared.

According to sources, the young doctor had visited Kashmir and some neighbouring countries in the first five years of the new millennium when he was working with the tribal medical mobile unit of Idukki district. They also think that he had made such trips without taking formal leave from the job so that no proof would remain. The extensive visits to tribal colonies in the hilly regions of the districts on healthcare assignments had helped him understand the terrains of such areas, including Vagamon.

Sources said that this doctor had organized several camps in deep jungles of Idukki district for tribespeople since 2001. Sleuths of the NIA are now trying to find out whether any suspicious elements had taken part in such camps and also whether such camps had been used as cover for any other activities. Sources said that the arrested SIMI activists had already admitted that this doctor had helped terror operatives in the forests.

Meanwhile, a report from Bangalore said that the anti-terror squad of he Karnataka Police had earlier this week arrested two SIMI operatives who had reached the money required for the conduct of the training camp at Vagamon. One of them, Shahid of Irattupetta, Kottyam, is said to be a close relative of Shibili, one of the two main organizers of the camp. The other was Anwar Sadat of Aluva. They were arrested from Shimoga.

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