Coastal Karnataka back on cops' radar.
THE coastal Karnataka region, which is considered a stronghold of the BJP, is once again back in focus with the arrest of Maulana Anzarshah Qasmi in Bengaluru. It is said that two of his followers, who are being watched by the police, are working in different madrasas in Uttara Kannada and Kodagu districts.
The police are ascertaining whether they radicalised youth, as incidents of communal unrest are on the rise.
Several new madrasas in Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts have reported change of guard of late. Incidents of girls being kidnapped and complaints against instructors in madrasas have become common, but they have largely been ignored as the matter has not been brought to the notice of the police.
Last year, when the Indian Mujahideen ( IM) cell was exposed in Bhatkal ( Uttara Kannada district), the role of madrasas in radicalising youth was probed. The IM took its original shape in Bhatkal and police are weary of this fact.
" We have to rely on our own informers. But it becomes difficult to understand what is being taught inside the madrasas. Besides, this is a sensitive issue and we cannot directly inquire them without
any proper complaint," lamented a senior police officer, who worked in the coastal Karnataka region last year.
The communal incidences involving both the majority and minority in coastal Karnataka region are more or less the same. While a section of the people attribute the radicalisation of Muslim youth to the rise of Hindu religious groups, the role of the Maulanas in radicalising youth in favour of al- Qaeda or the IM is a dangerous trend, according to another police officer.
" If the associates of Maulana Qasmi have indeed been preaching the wrong things in coastal Karnataka madrassas, the situation has to be rectified by the local clergy. They cannot afford to have anti- national elements among them," sources said.
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