KOCHI: BJP state secretary M T Ramesh was the prime target of Ansar-ul-Khilafah Kerala, the IS module busted by NIA in Kannur in 2016. This was revealed by the NIA during the prosecution argument as part of the trial of the case held at the NIA Court here on Wednesday.
Ansar-ul-Khilafa Kerala, the group comprising youths from various parts of Kerala planned attacks on Jews at Kodaikanal, BJP leaders, Ahmadiyyas, police officers and High Court judges. Manseed Muhmood, Swalih Mohammed, Rashid Ali, Ramshad N K, Moinudheen, Safvan and Jasim N K are currently facing trial in the case. The group was busted when they held a meeting at Kanakamala, Kannur, in October 2016.
During the prosecution argument, NIA prosecutor Arjun Ambalapatta read out chats of the accused in various Telegram (chat app) groups. On Telegram, a five-member group named Knowledge was formed to plan an attack on Ramesh.
In a chat between the members held on August 28, 2016, it was decided to fix Ramesh as the prime target in Kerala. According to the group, the RSS was its prime enemy and its leaders have to be targeted. Taking off a person like Ramesh would trigger riots. An attack on him would have had a wider impact as the BJP national executive meeting was to be held in September 2016.
A group member was tasked to monitor Ramesh’s daily activities. In another chat group named Thasveeb, the module members asked Sajeer Mangalassery, who left for IS territory in Afghanistan, and members of Ansar-ul-Khilafah Kerala from abroad to provide a weapon for attacking Ramesh.
In another chat group named Gate, Shajeer Mangalassery asked members of Ansar-ul-Khilafah to start chemical business. In a chat dated August 16, 2016, Shajeer said the chemical business can be a cover for procuring raw material for making explosives. When other members raised the risk factor, Shajeer claimed that chemicals like nitric acid are enough for making explosives, instead of RDX. In another chat on August 18, 2016, it was decided to take the help of other IS wings based in north India to procure explosives. In the chats, Shajeer says training will be provided to members of Ansar-ul-Khilafah in bomb-making, kidnapping and targeted killing.
Robbery to fund terror activities of outfit
The group maintained that robbery for funding jihad was not a crime. In a discussion held in the chat groups, it was claimed that fund can be arranged even by robbing jewellery shops. The prosecution argument will continue on May 28.