Amidst reports that a group of Keralites had joined terror outfit Islamic State, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday informed the Assembly that a total of 21 persons have been missing from the state. Among them, 17 were from Kasaragod and four from Palakkad as per the preliminary information available, Vijayan told the Assembly while replying to a submission raised by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.
The Chief Minister made it clear that extremism and terrorism has no religion and the government would not allow any move to trigger anti-Muslim sentiments in society over the issue. "The missing persons from Kasaragod included four women and three children. Two women were among those missing from Palakkad," he said.
These people had left their homes stating different reasons, he said. As per the media reports, these people had gone to Syria and Afghanistan and they were in IS camps, he said. Quoting media reports, Vijayan said one Firoz from Kasaragod has been taken into custody from Mumbai airport yesterday in connection with the development.
The government was viewing the matter very seriously, he said, adding it would take necessary steps with the support of the central agencies, to tackle the issue. "The state government is committed to take stern action against any kind of terror activities," he said, adding the government, at the same time, would not allow any vested interest to exploit the situation. "There was a move to trigger anti-Muslim sentiments in society using the present situation and this would not be allowed."
"There is also an attempt to put the entire Muslim community under the shadow of doubt. But it is well-known that majority of people in Kerala are against any kind of terrorism and extremism. Only a very few people are showing tendencies to become part of this," he said, adding, that this was also a serious matter. Noting that only the government steps were not enough to overcome the problem, Vijayan said a joint effort was necessary to bring all sections of people together and line up to isolate these elements.