Catholic bishops in Kerala have warned about the increasing influence of international terrorist outfits such as Islamic State in the southern Indian state. The bishops’ call follows a United Nations report which said there are Islamic State-related terrorists in the southern states of Kerala and Karnataka.
Groups like al-Qaida on the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Islamic State have a “significant” number of members in the two states, said the report of the UN’s analytical support and sanctions monitoring team released on July 25.
The bishops want to create “greater awareness” among people about the terror outfits and their motives to keep their countrymen, “especially the youth, away from the destructive elements.”
Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council made the call at the end of its five-day mon-soon gathering on Aug. 8. The online meeting was attended by 47 bishops from all 29 dioceses in the state. The Covid-19 pandemic restrained physical meeting.
The UN report should become “an eye-opener to officials in Kerala State,” it said. It wanted them “to take appropriate steps to check the growth of such elements from getting rooted.”
According to the UN report, a member state said the Indian unit of Islamic State has 180-200 members and “significant numbers” are from Kerala and Karnataka states.