The Kerala police on Friday said they have no information about Najeeb Kunduvayil, an engineering student who was reported to be killed in an Islamic State-controlled province in Afghanistan. The IS mouthpiece, “The Voice of Khorasan,” had published a story about him and how he got killed two days ago.
A senior official said a missing case was registered in Malappuram in 2017 after his mother complained that she got a message from abroad saying he joined the IS and urging her not worry about him. An MTech student at the Vellore Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu, he was reported to be missing from August 15, 2017, the official said.
“We have no information about him in the last four years or so. Initially he sent some messages to his mother in Telegram app saying he reached his destination. He also told her not to worry about him as he was in safe hands and loves to become a martyr,” a relative, who did not want to be identified, said.
He said his family had disowned him and they were not in a mood to hear more about him. He said before Kunduvayil left, he turned reserved all of a sudden and stopped watching TV and cinema. Before he left he asked his mother to dump her old phone and uploaded Telegram app on her new smart phone, the relative said adding they have no idea how he got attracted to extremist ideology.
A senior police officer of north Kerala said they have some information that more than 100 youths from the state have joined the IS in last four years and more than 50 per cent of them got killed and rest of them are active in IS-held provinces in Afghanistan and Syria. Since Kerala has a sizeable expatriate population is West Asian countries, it is easy for them to slip out and it is difficult for police to keep a tab on them, he said.
The officer said initially most of them were attracted to Salafism — an ultra-conservative reform movement within Sunni Islam, which aims to go back to what its proponents call the fundamentals of the faith. This puritanical strain advocates strict adherence to Sharia law and considers cinema, music and interactions with the opposite gender as unIslamic, he said, adding later they were gradually sucked into extremist ideologies.