KOCHI: An Islamic State (IS) module comprising Keralites was busted on Monday as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted simultaneous raids at more than five places in the state. Apart from Kerala, the NIA also conducted raids in Karnataka and New Delhi.
According to NIA sources, the New Delhi unit of the agency registered a case two days ago related to an IS module mostly comprising persons from Kerala. "An IS operative was booked by our unit in the New Delhi headquarters. This led to a revelation about more persons involved in the group. Some are in India while others have left the country. It has been learned that IS was forming an organised module in India to further its activities," sources said.
In Kerala, the NIA held raids at multiple places in Kollam, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasargod districts. In some places, there was resistance from local people against the search. "The entire operation was coordinated by the New Delhi unit. Almost 90 per cent of officials in NIA Kochi took part in the raid. In Kollam, raids were held at three places mostly near Anchal. Apart from this, there were also searches at residences of suspects at two places in Malappuram, two in Kannur and one at Kasargod," an official said.
Over 50 people from Kerala joined IS between 2015 and 2019 of which the majority were killed in Afghanistan and Syria. More than seven IS-related cases have been registered in Kerala by the NIA in the last five years. Some of the women and children who accompanied those who joined IS are languishing in jails of Afghanistan and have approached the Indian government seeking to return home.