Kerala CM wants Center to decide on repatriation of widows of IS fighters in Afghanistan

As the families of the widows of Islamic State (IS) fighters urged the government of Kerala to repatriate them, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday transferred responsibility to the Center, saying the Union government should take action. decision about it. The four widows of Islamic State fighters have been languishing in Kabul since their surrender to Afghan forces in December 2019. The four women and their children, from Kasargod district in Kerala, surrendered after the deaths of their children. husbands in combat.

Responding to a question on the matter, the CM of Kerala said on Monday that it was a matter to be decided by the Center and removed the responsibility from the shoulders of his state government. Amid reports of the Center’s alleged disinterest in the issue, Vijayan stressed that a position needs to be taken, this is an issue given the nation.

Noting that the women of the state are imprisoned in Afghanistan, the chief minister also said “it is necessary to know if they are ready to come to India. Their family’s opinion must also be sought.”

In an unverified video released last year, the four widows, identified as Nimisha Fathima, Rafeela, Soniya Sebastian and Merrin Jacob, expressed hope of returning to India. In the video, the women were reportedly seen saying they lived among several fighters and other families who surrendered to the Afghan government in 2019 after their husbands died. According to the PTI news agency, Nimisha Fathima’s mother expressed hope that the Center will forgive her daughter and bring her back to India.

21 young people from Kerala migrated to Kerala in 2017

According to previous reports, the Afghan national security directorate Ahmad Zia Saraj claimed that 408 ISIS operatives from 13 different countries are currently languishing in Afghan prisons. It comes after 21 young people from Kerala – 17 from Kasargod and 4 from Palakkad – moved to Afghanistan with their families to join ISIS. The investigation into the case, which also saw an indictment filed in 2017, found sleeper cells were active in the state.

The NIA had named Abdul Rashid as the mastermind behind the migration to ISIS, which married Sonia Sebastian. Rashid Abdullah and Sajeer Mangalassery had been accused of radicalizing the youth of Kerala and subsequently state police identified nearly 100 citizens of Kerala and the Gulf who had migrated to territories controlled by ISIS. Several of those who migrated to Afghanistan were killed in drone strikes.

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