SIMI is hub of Kerala terror: NIA

via PNS | Kochi published on January 27, 2010

The National Investigating Agency (NIA), probing six terror-related cases in Kerala, has said that banned Islamist outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is the hub of extremist activities in the State. The agency has filed first information reports in four of these six cases in the Special CBI Court in Kochi, saying SIMI’s hands and presence could be seen in all these cases.

The FIRs, based on the findings of the earlier investigations by the Kerala Police, listed a total of 98 accused in the four cases. The reports filed in the Special CBI Court were on cases of the burning of a Tamil Nadu bus at Kalamassery, off Kochi, recruitment of youths to LeT for assignment in Kashmir, the secret SIMI conference at Panayikkulam, Aluva and the SIMI training camp at Vagamon in Idukki district. The other two terror cases in Kerala the NIA is looking into are the twin blasts of March 3, 2006 in Kozhikode.

As in the State police’s case, the NIA also has listed Sufiya Madani, wife of Islamist leader and PDP chairman Abdul Nasser Madani, as tenth accused in the bus-burning case. The central agency, like the State police, has charged Sufiya, arrested on December 17 and released on bail three days later, with conspiracy and incitement.

Thadiyantavide Nazeer, reported to be the South India commander of LeT, is the first accused in this case as per the FIR filed by the NIA. Nazeer, presently in custody in Bangalore with relative and aide Shafaz, is the prime accused in the case registered by the Kerala Police also. There are a total of 14 accused in the bus-burning case as per the NIA’s FIR. The Tamil Nadu bus was burnt at Kalamassery on September 9, 2005.

The agency said in the FIRs that the SIMI activists had met in Panayikkulam and Vagamon and held anti-national activities. The Panayikkulam SIMI camp, held on August 15, 2006 was said to be the extremists’ meeting which served as the foundation for later terror acts in Kerala as well as other parts of the country. According to the central agency’s FIR, there are a total of 18 accused in this case.

The NIA has listed a total of 43 accused in the case relating to the SIMI training camp at Vagamon, held in December 2007. The camp at high-altitude resort in Idukki district is believed to be the real launch-pad of the Indian Mujahiddin-sponsored bomb attacks in Bangalore and other Indian cities in 2008. The information about the Vagamon camp of the terror outfit was first revealed by the Gujarat Police during the investigation into the Ahmedabad blasts in the same year.

According to the FIR submitted by the NIA, there are a total of 23 accused in the case related to the recruitment of youths from Kerala into the LeT for “assignments” in Kashmir and for sending into Pakistan for training. The plot had come out in the open after the security forces killed four of these Keralite extremists – Fayaz, Faiz, Abdul Rahim and Muhammad Yassin – in Loab in Kupwara sector of Kashmir in October 2008.

Meanwhile, the Additional Sessions Court in Thalassery, Kannur on Wednesday postponed the preliminary hearing in the case related to terrorist activities in the State for the fourteenth time. The court this time posted the case to February 6. This was the first terror-linked case registered in the State in the wake of the killing of the four Keralites in Kashmir.

The anti-terror squad – christened Special Investigation Team (SIT) – of the Kerala Police produced 12 of the accused in the court. Five of them were brought from the Parappanagrahara prison in Bangalore amid tight security arrangements while seven were brought from the Kannur Central Jail. In all, 23 accused were suspected to have links with militants of Jammu and Kashmir.

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