Amidst reports saying group of men from Kerala had joined terror outfit Islamic State, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed the Assembly on Monday that 21 persons have been missing from the state.
Chief Minister gave the information in the state assembly while replying to a submission raised by opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.
“17 of the missing 21 belong to Kasaragod and four other were from Palakkad. The missing persons from Kasaragod included four women and three children. Two women were among those missing from Palakkad, These people had left their homes stating different reasons,” said the Chief Minister
Vijayan also 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.
Quoting media reports, the CM said that these people had gone to Syria and Afghanistan and they were in IS camps. He 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.
“Our government is committed to take stern action against any kind of terror activities,” said CM.
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.
Taking up the issue, Chennithala said Kerala is in the grip of fear in the wake of the media reports about the IS link with some state youths.
However, he said no official confirmation had been received so far in this regard. So, it is the responsibility of the state government to make clarifications on the reality and alley the apprehensions of the people. The opposition also wanted the Chief Minister to share with the people whatever information he could on the Development.
( With PTI inputs)