Police in Kerala on Saturday launched a probe into the disappearance of several people from two northern districts even as a woman came forward to complain that her daughter was among the missing suspected to have joined militant outfits in the Middle East.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the mysterious disappearances from Kasargode and Palakkad districts were a serious issue and that central investigative agencies were in touch with the state police to determine the whereabouts of those missing.
Kerala has a history of being a breeding ground for radical Islamic ideology. Last year, a journalist from the state employed in Qatar joined a militant outfit fighting the government of President Bashal al-Assad in Syria. Four others were deported from the UAE for alleged ties to the Islamic State (IS) outfit.
HT on Friday was the first to report that 16 youth have been missing from the state for the past one month. Police intelligence officials, however, said the actual number of people missing could be 20 or more.
The police are investigating the authorities of a prominent public school chain and a Kozhikhode-based publishing firm for their suspected role in radicalising the missing persons.
A woman meanwhile went public about her missing daughter. Nimisha, 20, she said, has been missing since June 3 after she had converted to marry one Eeza. The woman said her daughter hasn’t contacted her since she left for Sri Lanka with her husband.
“In last November I lost contact with my daughter all of a sudden. When I rushed the college I was told she had married a Muslim youth,” she said. Later she filed a habeas corpus petition in High Court but the judge let her daughter go with the husband since she was 18 years of age.
“I was shocked to see my daughter, who loved to wear casual dress, in full purdah (veil). I was not allowed to talk to her fearing I may change her mind,” she said, adding that she somehow managed to revive contact with her later.
A man whose son is among the missing reported having received a message from him a couple of weeks ago. “Right now I am here living with izzah (pride) as a Muslim under the shade of Alhamdulillah,” the son said in the message, exhorting his entire family to join him.