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‘Foreign links’ of Kerala’s Islamist camp under lens

‘Foreign links’ of Kerala’s Islamist camp under lens
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 | VR Jayaraj | Kochi
The Kerala Police team investigating the case of the training camp of the Islamist outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), at Narath, Kannur has got reliable indications that its organisers could have foreign connections. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to take over the probe in the light of the information.
The police got the indications of the camp organisers’ possible foreign connections during the interrogation of the seven PFI activists whom the investigators had got in their custody the other day. In a raid on the camp on April 23, the police had arrested 21 PFI activists and had seized several weapons, bombs, incriminating documents and an Iranian identification paper.
The investigators believe that several lakhs of rupees had flowed into the training camp at Narath through bank accounts but details of this would be available only after examining the transactions done through the accounts. The police would be getting the ATM cards of the arrested analysed for this purpose.
According to police sources, the participants in the training camp were lower level activists of the Popular Front. The training session in progress when the police raided the secret facility was meant for the ordinary PFI workers from Edakkad in Kannur district, they said, adding that the 21 men arrested from there were not thoroughly familiar even among themselves.
When the police raided the secret facility on April 23, the mobile phones of the participants had been kept away from them by the camp organisers. The cops have also learned from the interrogation of the seven arrested activists that the participants in the camp were not aware of the fact that one of their chief trainers, Abdul Aziz, was an accused in a murder case.
Sources say that the training being provided to the activists at the camp at Narath was multi-layered. It is said that the Popular Front had a special ‘Encounter Group’ to impart physical training to the activists, a Legal Cell to provide legal awareness to trainees, a Harbouring Cell for shifting and accommodating them safely and a Media Cell for preparing pamphlets.
The April 23 police raid on the facility run at an under-construction building belonging to a social service organisation linked to the PFI had yielded several swords, two bombs, bomb-making materials, a human dummy meant for target-practising, an Iranian identification document and several papers related to the PFI and its political wing SDPI.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Police, armed with the information received from their Kerala counterparts in Kannur during the two-day joint inspections at the training camp and elsewhere, would now step up their monitoring activities in Mangalore, Coorg and other places in South Karnataka where the PFI is said to be active.
The four-member police team from Karnataka had visited Kannur on the information provided by the Kerala Police that some of those arrested from the PFI training camp could have been involved in the recent blast outside the BJP office in Bangalore. The team returned to Bangalore the other day with several photographs and other materials provided by the Kerala Police.
At the same time, the PFI leadership rejected all the observations and charges made by the police terming them as lies. The organisation alleged that a section in the police in connivance with certain political parties was targeting the PFI and called for an inquiry by a sitting judge to bring out the truth about the training camp at Narath.

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