Maoists and Kerala Islamist organizations cooperation under scanner in Kerala

published on June 2, 2010

Terror links: Migrants under Kerala Police scanner

VR Jayaraj | Kochi

With clear indications on possible cooperation between Maoists and Islamist organizations for flooding the State with counterfeit currencies in a bid to destabilize the system, the Kerala Police have begun a close watch on migrants from Naxalite-infested states like West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Jharkhand. However, the focus of this watch is on Bengalis after the recent arrest of Rub’ul, a native of Murshidabad, for distributing counterfeit currencies in Aluva, off Kochi.

The Intelligence wing of the Kerala Police has learned that the counterfeit currencies brought by Rub’ul had come from Bangladesh through Kolakata. That Murshidabad is a Maoist-infested area has strengthened the police’s suspicion that a network of Maoists and Bangladesh-based extremists has extended its tentacles to Kerala, seen by terror elements as a relatively safe heaven.

The police have learned that Rub’ul alone could have distributed counterfeit currencies of Rs 500,000 in the Kaladi, Perumbavoor and Aluva areas of Ernakulam district The State police have started checking the details of the bank accounts and ATM-based transactions of migrants from West Bengal in the light of the new revelations. They think that Rub’ul could have carried out counterfeit currency transactions through several banks in the Aluva area.

The preliminary assumption of the State police is that the counterfeit currencies seized from Aluva had been manufactured in Pakistan as in the case of the notes seized from Kochi and Kozhikode airports earlier. They think that these notes were first sent to Bangladesh from Pakistan and from there to Murshidabad and other places in West Bengal using infiltrators as couriers. The counterfeit currencies could be reaching Kerala from Murshidabad in this way, said a police official.

The police are now trying to find out whether Rub’ul had any Maoist or Islamist connections. They also think that this man could actually be from Bangladesh. There are officials who informally admit that there could be hundreds of Bangladeshis working in Kerala posing as Bengali migrant workers. “They speak the same language and if at all there is some difference we can’t know that. Also, it is practically impossible to question each one of them because there are thousands of Bengalis working in Kerala,”
said an official.

The State police have already handed over details of their findings on the international counterfeit currency to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA had received the details of the recent hauls of counterfeit currencies at the Kochi and Kozhikode airports. The economic offences wing of the Kerala Police’s Crime Branch also is looking into the matter.

The police have already received credible evidences to believe that Maoists in the Red Corridor are trying to make Kerala one of their bases for planning operations. They have already learned that the Maoists from these areas have been doing weapons-shopping and collecting explosives materials in Kerala. There were reports earlier that two men from the Communist Party of Philippines had held training camps for Maoists in Kerala’s jungles.

Migrant workers in the State, particularly in the central Kerala areas of Ernakulam and Thrissur districts, had come under the watch of the police after the arrest of Maoist leader Mallaraja Reddy from Angamaly three years ago. There are also clear indications that erstwhile Naxalites, who had become inactive after the 1980s, could be helping the Maoists. Quite recently, about a dozen hardcore Maoists had reportedly entered Kerala, escaping an encounter with the Karnataka Police.

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