Street named after Gaza in IS-afflicted Kasargod sparks radicalisation fears
Kerala's Kasargod district, despite its high literacy, has confounded Indian authorities by becoming a fertile ground for IS to recruit more fighters. (Representative image) Photograph: (Zee News Network)
A street in Kerala's Kasargod district -- widely viewed by the Indian authorities as an incubator for Islamic State's India outreach -- has been named 'Gaza', stoking fears of radicalisation of Muslims in the region.
The naming of an Indian street after a contested stretch of land between Israel and Palestine has alerted Indian intelligence agencies, but local authorities remain oblivious to its presence.
Although the funds for building the stretch came from the local municipality, its chairperson Beefathima Ibrahim told The Times of India that she wasn't aware of any such road under her jurisdiction. This despite the road being inaugurated by the district panchayat president AGC Basheer last month.
What has got intelligence agencies worried is that 'Gaza' street is located perilously close to Padane, the place from where 21 Indians joined Islamic State last year.
An unnamed Intelligence Bureau official told One India website that though unusual, it seems the appellation was done cleverly, given the street's geographical position.
WION's Ramesh Ramachandran has reported in the past about how India's southern state of Kerala has confounded Indian authorities by becoming a fertile ground for IS to recruit more fighters.
Despite high literacy rates and prosperity in the state when compared to the rest of the country, young men and women in Kerala have taken to IS' ultra-conservative Islamic interpretation as they have become disillusioned with local Islamic groups' more progressive agenda, his report had stated.
Another alarming aspect of Indians joining the Middle East-based jihadist organisation is that some of the young men and women had degrees in engineering, medicine or management with well-paying jobs.
In total, there are about 100 Indians who have joined IS as per an Indian government data.