Chennai Police are probing the links between an anti-citizenship law protester and Pakistan. Police said that the links between one Gayatri Khandhadai and a Pakistan based NGO is under probe.

AK Vishwanathan, the Chennai Commissioner of Police said that Gayatri’s Facebook profile says that she is a researcher at Bytes for All, Pakistan. He said that the police are probing her ties with the organisation. We will look into her profile on the social media accounts to see if there are any connections with Pakistan agencies, Vishwanathan also said.

A Pakistan link?

Gayatri has been active in the protests over the newly amended citizenship law. She has been associated with the Kolam demonstrations and was also present at the Madras University premises, when the students staged a protest.

Gayatri also has the backing of some local NGOs in Tamil Nadu, police said. Bytes for All is based in Pakistan and it is linked to the Association of All Pakistan Citizen Journalists. This is a crucial link amidst warnings by the Intelligence Bureau that outfits from outside India could fan the violence further.

During the Uttar Pradesh protests it was established that the Pakistan backed Students Islamic Movement of India had worked its Nepal module to fan the violence. SIMI has for years been funded and nurtured by Pakistan’s ISI. It was an outfit nurtured by Pakistan for the purpose of homegrown terror and also radicalise youth apart from fanning violence in India.

Bytes for All:

Bytes for All says that it is a Pakistan based human rights organisation and a research think tank with a focus on information and communication technologies. Its website says that the organisation promotes the use of technology for sustainable development, democracy and social justice.

Its last article posted on the website is dated August 6, 2019 and it is about Kashmir. The article is titled, “India: Democratic rights must be respected and protected in Jammu and Kashmir.”

In the article, it speaks about the abrogation of Article 370. The article says that the abrogation is a breach of trust and puts an already volatile situation in the state at further risk. “We condemn the further militarisation of the state,” the article also says.

The article has 24 signatories. Most of them are NGOs and other organisations from Pakistan.  There are also signatories from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan Maldives and Nepal.

Interestingly there are six signatories from India. They are Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), Centre for the Sustainable Use of Natural and Social Resources (CSNR), Lenin Raghuvanshi, human rights defenders, People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), People’s Watch (PW) and Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI).

In TN, radicals thrive:

In the fight against radicalisation and terror, Tamil Nadu is a state that has reported immense problems. The first known Indian ISIS recruit was from Tamil Nadu. Out of the 127 known recruits of the ISIS in India, 33 are from Tamil Nadu.

The ISI too operates with ease in Tamil Nadu. The 2014 case is proof of the same. The agencies had busted a modus operandi by Pakistan after a Sri Lankan national Zaheer Hussain entered Tamil Nadu on the instructions of the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo to survey targets and also set up modules.

Intelligence Bureau officials and officers with the National Investigation Agency tell MyNation that with the help of the ISI, groups such as the SIMI and ISIS have penetrated deep into the state.

The NIA also learnt that the lack of will by successive state government has over the years made Tamil Nadu a paradise for radicalisation, like is the case in Kerala. Further investigators have also found that there is a group called Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath, which runs a mosque in which the puritanical version of Islam is preached. The NIA found that one Mohammad Naseer was radicalised when he was studying engineering at the MNM College in Chennai. He would visit this mosque often, the NIA had learnt during its probe.

In Tamil Nadu, both the ISIS and the Al-Qaeda have strong modules and they operate as the Ansarullah and Base Movement respectively.

There is also another group known as the Al-Ummah which has been operating for long. This was the group that had planned the assassination of LK Advani at Coimbatore and was also responsible for the bomb blast outside the BJP officer in Bengaluru in 2013.

The outsider link:

While the outsider link in the Chennai protests are being probed, it must be noted that the radical touch in the protests in other parts of the country too have been found.

The protests witnessed the presence of several hidden mobs. At Seelampur and the Jamia Millia, police learnt that members of the SIMI had infiltrated the protests and incited violence.

The Ministry of Home Affairs too had issued an advisory that radical elements would infiltrate the protests and fan violence. MHA officials say that all these elements get a majority of their funding from Pakistan. For Pakistan the key agenda is for India to burn and it would do anything to ensure that. We do not rule out the possibility of the funds coming in from Pakistan to fan violence during the protests.

Pakistan would resort to slander campaigns, passing on wrong information on social media to create and incite trouble. It has on its pay rolls several activists in India, who would work towards the Pakistan narrative. These persons include, activists, terror operatives and journalists, who are paid off to put out a false narrative. This has in fact been going on for long now and officials do not rule out the possibility of the same happening during the ongoing protests.

Spare a thought:

For those inciting violence, in the name of this law, they must understand what the religiously persecuted have endured. The law is not aimed at the Indian Muslims as is being portrayed by the Opposition.

While appealing to the people not to protest the law, Meera Das said that their pain must be understood. Meera, the grandmother of the one-month old baby girl named Nagrikta, said that they left their home and land behind in Pakistan. This is our new home. Where will be go if you do not accept us. Please understand our pain and do not protest something that heals our wounds.

Sona Das, who left his home in Pakistan and came to India in 2011 said, ‘had you gone through what we endured, you would have never protested.’