Kerala police on Wednesday registered a case against a youth from Kozhikode on charges of joining Islamic State and trying to attract others to the terrorist outfit through social media. This is the first case registered in Kerala in connection with the Islamic State, although half a dozen men from UAE have been deported for allegedly sharing IS propaganda.
Police registered the case against Riaz alias Riyad Rahman, a native of Kozhikode, under section 125 of IPC and sections 20 and 38 of UAPA Act. Riaz, living with his family in Ras al Khaimah for several years, has been missing recently. The Indian Express had reported about Riaz’s family last month after he had been identified as one of the 17 Indian youths who had gone missing from Gulf and allegedly joined the Islamic State.
Meanwhile, Riaz’s father Rahman, mother and a sister reached Kozhikode on Wednesday morning. Rahman had gone to Ras al Khaimah in 1980, but never came back to Kerala. Despite repeated pleas from family members, Rahman refused to return to Kozhikode. But the son’s Islamic State links forced him to return to Kozhikode.
Intelligence sources said Rahman and other family members were not deported from UAE. “They were forced to return due to the issue caused by the son.’’
He told the media that his son has been missing for last two years. However, he used to occasionally contact his mother Sainaba. “The UAE police had questioned the family members after Riaz had gone missing. I don’t know whether he had joined the IS or not,’’ he told the media.
Later, the family remained shut after scores of people thronged his house at Paradise colony at Payyanickal in Kozhikode following media reports. They belong to Maliakkal, a popular Muslim family in the region.
Maliakkal’s sister Thanmayi had earlier told the Indian Express that her brother had left for Gulf in 1980. The family was settled in Gulf and he never came back to Kerala. “We would plead him to come back, but he would not. There is some issue which we don’t understand that prevents him from returning to Kerala. Since he hasn’t come back even once, people have doubts about what he is doing there. Hence, we wanted he should come back and clear the air. But he never came back,’’ said Thanmayi.
She said Maliakkal’s wife and children used to come to Kerala very rarely. “The last time, they came was six-and-a-half years back for the marriage of the eldest daughter. After the marriage, all of them, including Riyad, went back. They stayed at the house, which they purchased for the marriage, only for a few months. It is almost six years since they left for Gulf,’’ she said.
Neighbours say Maliakkal hasn’t been back since he left 30 years ago. When the daughter’s wedding was fixed six years ago, and the family bought the Payyanickal house for it, the family told them Maliakkal would finally come, but he eventually didn’t.
The neighbours only know of the Rahmans to be “rich” and “aloof”. “We attended the marriage, but nothing else is known to us about them. Last month, officials from intelligence agencies have come here and sought details from us,’’ said a senior resident of the colony.
Thanmayi said although she had gone to visit the family in Ras Al Khaimah two years back, she could not meet son Riyad. “All the children were born and brought in Gulf. They never studied in Kerala, where they had very rare, short visit. The family rarely calls us. But, I had called my brother Rahman Maliakkal in the month of Ramadan. I don’t know what Riyad is doing there. He never called me after leaving Kerala six years back.”