Homeland Security

South India on Short Fuze?
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South India on Short Fuze?, 4.6 out of 5 based on 16 ratings
Issue Net Edition | Date : 09 Feb , 2018

In matters of national security India has repeatedly glossed over breeches and ignored build up to explosive situations till the explosion takes place. Resolute action lacks under euphemisms like democratic freedom, but actually because of vote-banking even if intelligence indicates what is going to happen in future. There is a class of politicians that will sell their soul for a lark.

A prominent communist leader has been travelling frequently to China not only for collecting funds but China has been sending him to North Korea and back without stamping his visa. That he would have pledged support to China including helping latter in destabilizing our northeast when called upon doesn’t much require much imagination. China is expanding political coercion operations and the out of power politicians will sell their souls to get back into the saddle.

Another prominent politician when Union Home Minister, settled 4000 illegal Rohingya refugees in Jammu despite Article 370, and, the best part is that he now heads Parliament’s Standing Committee on Internal Security. The banana republic continues to snooze, one example being a recent post on Twitter pointing out that in Jammu region 734 Rohingyas are settled near police lines in Channi Himmat, 206 near Army station in Sunjwan, 40 near HQ 16 Corps at Nagrota, and graveyards are also being used to settle them. Appears, the ISI plans are being facilitated smoothly, even as Pakistan is moving border action teams from Mujahid battalions along the border (https://in.news.yahoo.com/pakistan-deploying-units-part-border-122200053.html). The politicians who should be targeted by stone-pelters for misadministration enjoy life because the dance to the tune of their handlers across the border.

In China, indulging in anti-national activities means get shot and / or get your organs harvested. In the US, such individuals will simply be eliminated through suitable methods, even drones. But in India no one will ever question how illegal immigrants get Indian identity papers, even aadhaar cards. So where is the question of anybody being prosecuted? Then you have the judiciary that is intensely worried about human rights of stone-pelters, hooligans attacking security forces and government property, and illegal immigrants.

That China, Pakistan, even Sri Lanka place internal security over human rights doesn’t matter. British soldiers are being shielded from legal action under European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), to protect troops from ‘vexatious’ court claims (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-troops-shielded-legal-action-european-court-human-rights-iraq-afghanistan-a7343551.html), the British Prime Minister batting for his soldiers. Yet in India, the Chief Minister is overjoyed with an FIR against Army when they are forced to open fire in self defence.

South India has been in the news lately with incidences of ‘Love Jihad’ but the technicalities of what happens ‘after’ the marriage between two adults is of little consequence to the judiciary, with the NIA rebuked for unnecessary interference. Indians have short memories and who remembers that early 2000 media reports indicated Al Qaeda, LeT and ISI footprints in Kerala, responsible for establishing the Kerala-headquartered Popular Front of India (PFI). In October 2008, four cadres of PFI recruited by LeT were killed in Kupwara (J&K) trying to cross into POK. There are photographs available of armed PFI cadres in combat dress undergoing arms training in the jungles of Kerala.

On July 15, 2010, the Sri Lanka Guardian, in an article titled ‘India: Jihad’s southern outpost’ (http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2010/07/jihads-southern-outpost.html) indicated ample evidence of ISI operating in Kerala for years, if not decades, with a recent raid on the house of a PFI leader unearthing material with unmistakable imprint of Taliban and Al Qaeda

The above article brought out facts, like: Kerala Islamists-Pakistan links date back to early 1990s; R&AW had  information  extremists from Kerala terror groups had been going to Pakistan since 1992 and CAM Basheer was first Keralite to go to Pakistan but no further information was available on him; raids on houses PFI leaders revealed PFI links with ISI, Al Qaeda; economic terrorism in Kerala  planned and supervised by the ISI including counterfeit currencies worth several cr confiscated from people coming in from the Gulf, which officials admit is tip of the iceberg; major instance of ISI infiltration into Kerala exposed with arrest of Muhammad Fahd (30), Pakistani national with Kerala roots and an Al-Badr coordinator, in October 2006 with associate, Muhammad Ali Hussein with weapons including AK-47 rifles and components of IEDs, possibly linked to bomb explosions in Kozhikode in March 2006; police raid on house of  Mansoor, PFI’s Ernakulam district secretary unearthed minutes meetings giving out plans to monitor preparedness of Indian Navy and sneak into the Defence exhibition at Kochi’s naval base and collect maximum information; raids on another PFI leader, Kunjumon, recovered campaign material of Al-Qaeda-Taliban – CDs of terrorist executing sentences by Al Qaeda, decapitation of girls and women and repulsive mutilation of their bodies amidst  cheering by terrorists.

The July 4, 2010 act of cutting off the right hand of a college professor at Muvattupuzha by PFI was possibly due to such Islamist radicalization.

Given the recent incidents, Islamic fundamentalism is clearly on the rise in Kerala with reports of killings taking on the mantle of ethnic cleansing, supported by the state government and national opposition parties – similar to what happened in the Kashmir Valley. The situation is all the more dangerous because the radical Islamists groups enjoy political patronage of the state because of vote-banks.

There have been reports of some 100 youth from Kerala having joined the Islamic State over the years, with some fighting in Syria and Afghanistan.  But it would be naïve to view the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in South India through the Kerala-headquartered PFI in isolation. This must be viewed in conjunction LeT and Al Qaeda modules in Maldives that has radicalized that country with China backed President Yameen joining the ranks of radicalized Pakistan and Turkey.

To top this is move by some of our communist leaders trying to forge a Maoists-PFI link, which bodes more danger to South India. All this must be weighed in the backdrop of the China-Pakistan anti-India nexus. PLA’s effort to learn Tamil and Malayalam is obviously not simply for monitoring the internet (http://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/2017/sep/02/chinas-pla-learns-tamil-malayalam-to-intercept-indian-chatter-1651707.html).

Yet with all this happening, India has not banned the PFI. Are we happy with South India on short fuze, which is emerging as another fault-line to be exploited by our adversaries. The situation in Maldives makes it graver.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

is a former Lt Gen Special Forces, Indian Army

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