RAW joins sleuths in probing NDF’s terror connection

via www.dailypioneer.com/Kannur published on October 30, 2008


India’s external
espionage agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) joined the Kerala
Police’s newly formed anti-terror squad and State Intelligence wing on
Thursday in the probe into the extremist operations in the context of
shocking revelations about the presence of militants including those of
Pak-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in God’s Own Country. A high-ranking
RAW official who reached Kannur on Thursday, Deputy Inspector General
of Police TK Vinod Kumar heading the anti-terror squad of Kerala Police
and State Intelligence officials jointly and separately interrogated
the persons arrested in connection with militancy at undisclosed camps
in Kannur district.

According to unconfirmed reports, the
police had taken into custody 43 suspected terror operatives including
Abdul Jaleel and Muhammad Faizal, said to be LeT’s recruiters in
Kerala, and several other persons had been detained for questioning.
Sources in the police said that the joint probe indicated that the
investigations had entered a crucial and decisive phase even as the
State police’s anti-terror squad held extensive raids at the residences
and offices of suspected terror operatives including activists of
Islamist organisation NDF across the State, especially Kannur and
Kozhikode districts.

The police officials unearthed a
sophisticated gun from the house of NDF activist Nasser alias Kunjumon
at Iritti in Kannur district. They arrested two youths, Shihab and
Shiyas, associates of Nasser, but could not track down Nasser as he had
been absent from the area for some time now and this was what had
driven the police to his residence. However, the NDF said in a
statement that Nasser had no connections with the organisation but the
police asserted that he was an activist of the outfit.

Raids
were held extensively in Kannur, Kasaragod and Kozhikode on Thursday
but in focus were Kuttikkattoor and Mundakkal in Kozhikode and Iritti
in Kannur. Houses of two NDF workers were raided in Kuttikkattoor.
Kunnamangalam, Mukkam and Chevayur in Kochikode were also in the focus
of the police surveillance.

Towards the evening, Jaleel and
Faizal were brought to Kozhikode, where their interrogation would
continue. The police had to return Jaleel to judicial custody on Friday
as the period allowed by the Additional Judicial Magistrate to keep him
in police custody would end. However, the police would request the
court to give Jaleel in custody for more questioning. Officials
indicated that the joint questioning was proving to be effective and
hoped that further questioning would yield more valid information. The
Thalassery court had the other day left Faizal, the LeT recruiting
agent who had inducted Muhammad Faiz and Fayaz of Kannur, who had been
killed by security forces in Kannur. Vinod Kumar would camp in
Kozhikode for more interrogation of the arrested persons and for
coordinating the investigations and raids. Officials said the raids
were proving to be effective as more and more information was being
yielded from them.

Meanwhile, steps had been taken to
strengthen the Intelligence wing of the State police in the context of
the ongoing investigations. The Special Branch of CID had been divided
into three sections for smooth and effective terror hunt. Squad One
would look into the communal problems and extremist operations while
Squad Two would concentrate on Maoist and Naxalite activities while
Squad Three would specialise in general intelligence gathering.
Officials hoped to augment the investigations with the coordinated
efforts of the three categories.

The coastal region had now come
under the strict surveillance of the Intelligence agencies. The sleuths
are checking upon each and every big land deal and the owners and
operators behind huge construction projects.

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