Deccan Chronicle

We are being targeted for no reason: Muslim community from Bhatkal

Deccan Chronicle| Gururaj A Paniyadi

Published on: April 10, 2016 | Updated on: April 10, 2016

Attempts are being made to make Bhatkal synonymous with terrorism, say aggrieved residents.

A file photo of a madarasa in Bhatkal

A file photo of a madarasa in Bhatkal

Bhatkal: Long hours of questioning later, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which recently picked up Ismail Musab Abdul Rawoof  from Bhatkal for his alleged links to the Islamic State (IS), admitted it had the wrong man in custody. While it tried to gloss over the arrest as a case of  "mistaken identity", the  people of  Bhatkal feel they are being unnecessarily targeted.

"Attempts are being made to make Bhatkal synonymous with terrorism," say aggrieved residents. But defending the spotlight on Bhatkal, an officer says it is under the radar of security agencies because many youth from the town have links with terror outfits.

"In the past many had links with the banned SIMI outfit. Later men like Yasin and Riyaz from the town played a key role in forming the Indian Mujahideen, the terror outfit which was behind several bomb blasts in the country.

Recently, many youth from here have been found to have links with IS," he points out.  The town's strong Gulf connection also throws it open for suspicion, he argues. As does "the Navayat community of Bhatkal, which keeps away from other Muslim communities," he claims.

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