IS recruitment: NIA to take over investigation
Kasargod: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will officially take over the investigation of the missing 19 Keralites from Kasargod and Palakkad districts and who are suspected to have reached the Islamic State (IS)camp.
The investigation is being handed over to NIA after examining the initial reports submitted by RAW and Central Intelligence Bureau. There are reports that Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called a high-level meeting of investigating agencies to discuss the suspicion of a huge team of professionals from Kerala joining Islamic State. The case may be handed over to the NIA on Monday itself, after examining the reports submitted till date.
Meanwhile, investigation has begun at the international level based on the information provided by the Indian government. The RAW team from Delhi which visited Trikaripur and Padanna for investigation, left for Delhi on Saturday. The details of the missing persons' passports were handed over to the police by their relatives.
The passport numbers were collected as the route taken them is still not clear. The agencies are not ruling out the possibility of the gang going via Sri Lanka. A man from Gulf is conducting a religious study centre at an unknown location in Sri Lanka. It is assumed that the 19- member gang might have gone there and would have reached Syria or Egypt later.
Abdul Rasheed and Shihas, leaders of the missing gang, work for a school having branches in different places of Kerala. The couple Rasheed and Ayisha, who are telecommunication engineers, and two other persons Shihas and Marvan, also work with the school. The investigation officials are probing the activities of the school also.
Rasheed, who grew up in Oman receives a fat salary of Rs 3 lakh in the Gulf. However, he worked for just Rs 30,000 at the school in Kerala.
It is learnt that Rasheed used to campaign that religious education in the state is not correct and religious practices should be done according to what the Islamic State has put forward.
The investigation team has got information that Rasheed had conducted classes at a place of worship in Kerala initially and his ideas were rejected by those who attended the class. They also removed Rasheed and others from the institution.
Later, Rasheed chose the house of Ijas and Shihas to spread extremist ideas.
However, some locals questioned their activities, according to the investigation team.
Rasheed and others used to force inmates of the house to lead a simple life without any modern facilities and abandon all profitable ventures. They also asked them to pray even at midnight.
Nimisha, who converted to Islam and took the name Fathima, and Dr Ijas' wife Rifaila had discontinued their BDS course midway. The reason given by Fathima was that she had to touch the body of others as a dental doctor.
The initial investigation by Intelligence Bureau says that apart from following the IS messages online, it was Rasheed's classes which led to the missing of a big team of professionals from Kerala.