KOCHI: Right from 2000, campuses in Kerala have been a soft target for religion-based extremist organisations that operated under different groups to run their propaganda for attracting youth. According to state police chief Lokanth Behera, the murder at Maharaja’s College reveals it was orchestrated operation by the Campus Front, the students’ wing of PFI, to instill fear.
“It was a well-executed plot as outsiders were involved. We have taken necessary measures to tackle the rising activities of religion-based organiSations on the campuses. We will take stringent action against those involved in the conspiracy and murder of the student at Maharaja’s College,” said Behera.
Former police chiefs Jacob Punnoose and T P Senkumar also echoed similar concerns saying the police have repeatedly warned the respective state governments about the activities of extremists organisations. “Between 2012 and 2013, we had filed a couple of reports about the rising religious fundamentalist activities on college campuses,” said Senkumar.
“When I was with intelligence, we had filed reports about the danger of religion-based wings making inroads into campuses. Rising dominance of such organisations on campuses is a danger to the secular set-up,” said Punnoose.
According to earlier police reports, NDF, which later merged with PFI, and the banned SIMI were taking to campuses under different names to carry out fundamentalist activities.
Senior police officers say the rising activities of extremist wings on campuses have become a far more complex issue and deep-rooted than is understood by the policymakers. “Extremist organisations are always on the lookout for technically skilled and academically strong individuals because they give more value addition to their activities. We can’t brush aside the fact student wings of religio-political parties and radical and banned militant organisations are still active on educational campuses promoting religious extremism,” said a top cop.