Fifteen persons, including women and at least one child, from Kasaragod and Palakkad districts are suspected to have joined the Islamic State group (Isis), sources revealed to the International Business Times India. Of the 15, who went missing last month, 11 hail from Kasaragod while four youth belong to Palakkad.
Close family members of one of the persons, who hails from Padanna village in Kasaragod, told IBTimes India that he had recently got in touch with them, and sent them several sms, one of which read, " Don't search for me, we have reached a place where there is no election, taxes, ministers and theatres, Quran decides everything here" [translated from Malayalam].
The family members also revealed that none of them had earlier shown any kind of political or religious affiliation. However, they used to travel frequently for religious studies to other countries.
The group of missing persons includes a doctor couple from Kasaragod district, who left the place on June 6 under the pretext of going for Islamic studies in Sri Lanka. Also missing from the district is a pregnant Muslim woman, who is said to have converted from Christianity to Islam, accompanied by her husband and their two-year-old daughter. This couple is learnt to have links with the two young married couples who went missing from Palakkad district as they had studied together. The youth from Palakkad are also believed to have converted to Islam.
The family in Padanna never approached the police as they were in an anticipation of the group returning home after a month. "Since the messages were being sent through Internet-based communication software, the family could not trace their location," VPP Mustafa, Kasaragod district Panchayat member, told us. The police are said to have now launched an investigation in the matter, and have collected information from the family.
One of the messages sent by the missing young man also asked the family to join him. "We have decided to lead a holy life. Mother should convince father to join us," [translated from Malayalam] said the message. The father, who returned to Padanna from Dubai on Friday after hearing of the latest development, told IBT that he will accept his son if he comes back as a reformed person. "If not, we don't even want to see his dead body," he added.
An Intelligence Bureau (IB) official confirmed to IBT that some of the calls of the missing people have been traced to Afghanistan and Syria. However, the family is yet to get concrete information from the authorities on the same.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also promised swift action in the matter. "It is a serious issue and is being looked into," the CM said to the media.
Emerging details also suggest that an 18-year-old girl, who has also converted to Islam, has been missing along with her husband. Her mother revealed to the media that she is pregnant.