A youth from Kerala who had travelled to Syria with his wife and allegedly joined the Islamic State is believed to have died, according to news received by his family in Kannur. Sources said the youth, identified as Shijil, had been an activist of the Popular Front of India (PFI). In early July, Delhi police arrested another youth from Kerala, Shajahan Velluvakandy, who was deported from Turkey while allegedly trying to join the Islamic State in Syria. He is in judicial custody in Delhi.
“Shajahan had been an activist of the PFI in Kannur. He had disclosed to intelligence agencies about the presence of five PFI activists in Syria. Shijil had been one of them. He had moved to Syria about six months ago,” a police source said.
Police sources said the youths had gone to Syria to become shaheed (martyr). “Although they are engaged in combat, they consider the life in the strife-torn country to be a pilgrimage. For them, becoming a shaheed in that land is the final aim,” said the police source.
Police sources said they could not identify any funding element that could have helped the youths join the IS. “Shajahan had sold his vehicle in Kannur (to finance the trip). Considering the movement to Syria as a pilgrimage, he had even questioned the logic behind his arrest,’’ the source said.