Kerala’s district, from where youths went to join ISIS, gets a ‘Gaza street’

A street in Kasaragod district of Kerala has been named after Gaza, the disputed strip of land between Israel and Egypt that forms part of Palestinian territories.

According to reports, the road adjacent to Juma Masjid in Thuruthi ward of Kasaragod municipality in Kasaragod district was named as Gaza Street last month. It was inaugurated by Kasaragod district panchayat president AGC Basheer. Municipality funds are believed to have been used to construct the street. Municipal authorities, however, claim that they are clueless about the naming of the street.

Municipal chairperson Beefathima Ibrahim maintains that she does not have any knowledge about such a street under her jurisdiction. Kasaragod municipality opposition leader P Ramesh, who belongs to the BJP, said, “There is a deliberate attempt to change the names of various areas in Kasaragod. When such matters come to the municipal council, there will be a debate and if the name is not of public acceptance, it will be rejected. For the same reason, many such names are not brought to the attention of the council.”

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Gaza in Kerala
Gaza in Kerala

Reports suggest that there is also a club named Gaza Street near Chemnad of Kasaragod.

Suresh Kumar, a local BJP leader, said that Kasaragod is under the threat from terror outfits that have been functioning silently. Kumar alleged that many small unknown radical groups have raised their heads in the recent past in this Kerala district in the recent past.

Kasaragod is the district where communal fissures are widening during the present CPM rule. Intelligence agencies suggest that dreaded terror outfit Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are making inroads to this Kerala district.

Intelligence agencies are currently looking at the possible radical influence behind the naming of the Gaza Street.

It could be noted that Kasaragod district has been under the radar of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and National Investigation Agency (NIA) following reports that 21 youth went have gone missing since 2016. 17 of the 21 missing youth belong to Kasaragod district. Relatives of the missing youth fear that they might have joined the ISIS in Syria or Iraq. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the State Assembly that the missing youth are suspected to be in the ISIS camps in Syria or Afghanistan.

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