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Kasaragod Families Not Missing, But Leading a 'Religious Life' in Yemen, Claim Relatives

Eleven members of two families had gone missing on their way to UAE, triggering speculations that they might have "joined Islamic State (IS)". The missing report raked up the mysterious migration of a group of Muslim men and women to join the IS, back in 2016.

Chandrakanth Viswanath | News18

Updated:June 28, 2018, 12:30 PM IST
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Kasaragod Families Not Missing, But Leading a 'Religious Life' in Yemen, Claim Relatives
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Thiruvananthapuram: A day after 11 people, including six children, were reported to be missing from Kasargod in northern Kerala since June 16, their families have told police that their relatives are in Yemen to pursue a “more religious life”.

Eleven members of two families had gone missing on their way to UAE, triggering speculations that they might have "joined Islamic State (IS)". The missing report raked up the mysterious migration of a group of Muslim men and women to join the IS, back in 2016.

On Tuesday, Kasargod town police registered an FIR, based on the 'complaint of Abdul Hameed' of Mundamkulam in Chemmanad panchayat, that his 25-year-old daughter Nazira and her 35-year-old husband Sawad, along with their three children, Musab (6), Marjana (3), and Muhammil (11 months) were missing from Dubai.

Sawad, who hails from Mogral, was a businessman in Dubai for two years. Sawad's second wife, 25-year-old Rayhanath is also believed to be with the family.

Another youth Ansar, a friend of Sawad, along with his wife Zeenath and their three children were reportedly 'missing' from Dubai. However, no FIR has been has been lodged in this case.

After reports in media of the police registering a missing case, Hameed clarified that he did not file a complaint.

Hameed, who is in touch with his daughter, informed the police that the families are in Yemen, where they have gone to practice a more religious life. He claimed that his statement was misinterpreted into a missing complaint.

However, the police clarified that they have a copy of the complaint signed by Hameed, in which he mentions the missing claims.

In an audio clip of a phone conversation with his father, M P Ashraf, Sawad confirms that his wives and children are with him and that they are learning Islam in the Salafist style in Yemen. Sawad's father too said that his son had kept him in the loop about his plans.

In the audio, Sawad said they reached Yemen via Oman on June 8. He, his wives and eldest daughter have joined a religious learning centre, attached to the Masjid Al Anwar mosque at Al Hami in Hadhramaut.

The sources in the central agencies also agree to the version of Abdul Hameed and Sawad.

"Preliminary probe has revealed that these persons have reached Yemen to lead a Salafi way of life. As of now, they have no link with the IS. Moreover, we can’t term it as missing, as they are in touch with the family members,’’ a source said.

On Tuesday, Kasargod circle inspector C A Abdul Rahim had said Hameed feared they had joined the IS.

Sawad's relatives said the state police might have jumped the gun in this case to avoid a repeat of 2016, when 15 people from Padna and Trikaripur had left home and joined the IS.

According to the police, those travelling to Syria and Yemen will be under observation as the countries are on the watch list.​
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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