Terror in Kerala

SHOCKING: Terror’s Own Country

When Vipin Gopal coined God’s Own Country as a catchphrase to describe Kerala’s natural beauty–and thereby to promote its tourism–we can be sure that he didn’t envisage that it would soon morph into Terror’s Own Country.

A news report in the Kannada daily Vijaya Vani makes for alarming reading about the nonchalant ease with which convicts are networked with terror groups outside India. The following is a translation of the report.

The alarming news of how convicts lodged in various jails in Kerala are in touch over mobile phones with terror groups in various countries including Pakistan has just emerged. The accused in the Chandrashekaran murder case lodged in the Calicut jail not only used mobile phones from inside the jail but uploaded pictures on Facebook. Upon receiving this news, a team of police officers sprang a surprise raid there and discovered this shocking occurrence.

Similar raids conducted on jails across the state led to the recovery of about 80 mobile phones. When these phones were examined, it revealed more than 1000 calls made to various terror groups abroad including those located in Pakistan. Further, 18 calls were transacted over satellite phones.

In 2011, when the ADGP of Prisons Alexander Jacob conducted raids on jails, he recovered 154 mobile handsets and 2000 SIM cards. Of these, over 80 handsets and 700 SIM cards were seized in the Kannur jail alone. More than 2000 calls had been made using these handsets and SIM cards. So far, the ownership of these SIM cards has remained untraceable.