At a time when the intelligence agencies are raising alarm over the increasing radicalisation of Islamic State in India, a disturbing report emerging from the southern state of Kerala says that at least 16 Malayalis are suspected to have joined the terror group.
Twelve people from Kasargode and four others from Palakkad have been missing for over a month after they left their homes in early June on the pretext of going on a pilgrimage. The police and intelligence have launched a probe after a few of their relatives recently got messages on WhatsApp indicating that the group has reached a terror camp either in Syria or in Iraq.
Those who went missing include a doctor, an engineering graduate, two children and four women. It is assumed that they might have taken their flight from Mumbai or Hyderabad. Agencies are also probing how they went abroad without having adequate travel documents.
“We reached heaven from the hell,” said a message sent by one of the youth in the group to his wife. He also urged her to convince their parents and bring them to the Islamic State. “We reached our final destination,” said another message.
With a significant population of Muslims, India is a soft target for IS propaganda. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier said there was no threat to India from Islamic State as people of the Muslim community are against the terror group.