Mosques cum Arms storage units of Kerala

published on July 12, 2010

Bombs, weapons seized from mosque premises

VR Jayaraj | Thiruvananthapuram – Daily Pioneer

Bombs, swords and extremist literature were recovered by the Kerala Police in a raid on a mosque building at Edakkad near Thalassery, Kannur on Monday even as reports came out that the State authorities had neglected a serious warning issued by the Union Home Department more than a year back about the operations of Islamist organization Popular Front of India (formerly NDF).

The police recovered bombs, weapons, posters and pamphlets of the Popular Front in search operations at Edakkad in Kannur district. In the raid on an old building adjacent to a mosque at Manappuram, Edakkad, they seized ten bombs, 15 swords, three axes, foreign-made knives, posters and several pamphlets of the SDPI, the Popular Front’s political wing. While the weapons and pamphlets were found in a shelf in a room, the bombs were found buried outside the building.

The particular room in the building, lying in an abandoned state, was said to have been used occasionally by the Popular Front as some kind of office but mosque authorities said they had not rented it out to anybody. The raid was conducted on the basis of a tip-off from an anonymous caller by a team headed DySPs CP Tom and KV Santhosh and Sub –Inspector Sunil Kumar.

Experts from the Bomb Squad said the bombs were country-made but were of high explosive potential. The police said the recovered swords and axes were made recently. Inspector General of Police (Northern Region) Sudhesh Kumar said raids would continue in the district in the particular situation and that the responsible persons would be caught soon.

In another search, the police recovered several iron rods, CDs and Popular Front campaign literature from a well in Thalassery, Kannur. The Police were continuing the searches even late in the evening in several other areas in Kannur district, where the Popular Front had influence. They held searches at deserted houses and compounds in Panur, Thangalpeedika and other places.

Meanwhile, it is learned that the Union Home Ministry had through a letter sent more than a year back instructed the State Home Department and the Director General of Police to monitor the activities of the Popular Front. Intelligence officials say that the State authorities had failed to take this instruction seriously and this had led to the present situation of the outfit gaining formidable strength.

The Union Home Department’s letter dated February 27, 2009 had informed the State that the Popular Front was planning to spread its network by cashing in on the dissatisfaction among a section of the people in the Muslim community. It had pointed out that the goal of the outfit was to become an alternative to the Indian Union Muslim League, a constituent of the Congress-led Opposition UDF.

Intelligence reports say that the Popular Front had achieved surprising growth since the beginning of 2009. They say that the outfit has at least 10,000 activists who are prepared to make any kind of sacrifice for the ideology. It is said that the organization has people with expertise in the academic, ideological, political and subversive areas and that it has considerable presence in almost all areas of the State.

There are reports that the Popular Front has been able in this brief period to post their people in the important Government agencies. The outfit is said to have at least 500 supporters or informers in the State police and their ranks range from those of mere constables to mere Deputy Superintendents.

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