Kerala IS couple visited Lanka before vanishing

By P K Balachandran

Published: 15th July 2016 05:32 AM

Last Updated: 15th July 2016 05:32 AM

COLOMBO: Fathima (Nimisha) and Eeza (Bexon Vincent), the couple from Kerala, who have allegedly joined the Islamic State, were in Sri Lanka for over two months before disappearing, a highly-placed source told Express on Thursday.

According to Indian intelligence agencies, Lanka has emerged as one of the hotspots for Islamic studies, mainly for the Salafi sect following Wahhabism. It is also an easy access destination for Indians as they can visit without major security hiccups.

“They arrived from Tamil Nadu and went to Kochi after staying here for over two months. Further details are not available,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

The Lankan police had conducted investigations following revelations in the media that the couple were in Lanka before they disappeared, presumably to join the IS, the source said. However, DIG Ajith Rohana, the Lankan police spokesman, denied their visit to Lanka. “I enquired with the intelligence and they said they have no information on the arrival or sojourn of the Kerala couple,” Rohana said. Hisham, an office-bearer of the Salafi Foundation in Lanka, said he too has no information about the presence of non-Lankans in the Salafi institutions across the country. “The Salafi madrassa in Negombo is a very small one operating in a house,” he said. Maulvi Mubarak, secretary of the Jamiyathul Ulema of Sri Lanka, also said he was not aware of any foreigners coming to Lanka to learn Salafi Islam which is propagated by Tawheed Jamaath in Sri Lanka. Yusnus, leader of Tawheed, too denied the presence of the Kerala couple.

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