The Kerala police have admitted that the two terrorists killed in an encounter in Kashmir, Mohammad Fayaz and Abdul Rahim, about two weeks ago were from the hitherto untouched southern state.
The police raided the house of Fayaz on the outskirts of northern Kannur, about 450 km north of Thiruvananthapuram, on Thursday morning. It is for the first time during the 20 years of insurgency that non-Kashmiri residents were killed in a gunfight with the security forces in the Valley.
Last week, the police arrested Abdul Jaleel from Kannur on the basis of some calls he received on his mobile phone from Jammu and Kashmir, including some from the two killed militants. Kannur superintendent of police Sreejth claimed that the police had strong evidence to prove his connection with kashmiri insurgents.
Soon after the encounter, the Kerala police rushed T.K. Raj Mohan of the special branch to Kashmir. “After verifying the slain terrorists’ belongings we confirmed that the two belonged to the state,” a senior police officer told the Hindustan Times.
The police said both Fayaz and Rahim had criminal backgrounds. Rahim, a resident of Parappanangadi near Kozhikode, was one of the accused in the torching of a bus four years ago during a protest rally against the detention of a Muslim cleric, Abdul Nassar Mahdani.
“Now we are investigating who recruited them and how they obtained forged identity cards,” the officer said, adding that the two identity cards recovered from the encounter site turned out to be forged.
There were reports that both the terrorists belonged to the Indian Mujahideen allegedly responsible for the recent serial blasts in Delhi and other cities. Soon after the Ahmedabad blasts, the Gujarat police claimed that some of the blasts were planned at a SIMI camp in Wagamon in Kottayam district last year.