US embassy cable - 06CHENNAI476

MINOR BOMB EXPLOSIONS IN NORTH KERALA RAISE SECURITY CONCERNS

Identifier: 06CHENNAI476
Wikileaks: View 06CHENNAI476 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Chennai
Created: 2006-03-14 11:33:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PGOV PINR PTER ASCE CASC IN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO8926
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI
DE RUEHCG #0476 0731133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141133Z MAR 06 ZDS
FM AMCONSUL CHENNAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7667
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1519
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 4710
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA 0459
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 1185
UNCLAS CHENNAI 000476 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - DATE ON PARAGRAPH ONE 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, PTER, ASCE, CASC, IN 
SUBJECT: MINOR BOMB EXPLOSIONS IN NORTH KERALA RAISE 
SECURITY CONCERNS 
 
 
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Two crude bomb explosions in 
Kozhikode (formerly known as Calicut), located in the 
northern part of Kerala, on March 10, highlighted the 
activity of Islamic groups dominant in the region.  In 
view of the anti-U.S. attitude of these groups, 
security precautions are advisable while planning 
visits and other programs by U.S. Mission employees in 
the region.  END SUMMARY. 
 
------------------------------------ 
FRIDAY EXPLOSIONS MEANT TO TERRORIZE 
------------------------------------ 
 
2. (SBU) On March 3, two small country bombs (crude, 
homemade devices) made of firecracker material and 
timer devices, exploded in two bus stations in 
Kozhikode city, injuring a policeman and a bystander. 
Local police have begun investigations but no arrests 
have been made so far.  In a telephone call to a local 
newspaper, an unknown organization named "Al Kanoon 
Kerala" reportedly claimed responsibility for the bomb 
explosions but the police have yet to verify the 
veracity of the claim. 
 
3. (SBU) Commissioner of Police H. Venkatesh (protect) 
informed Post that the investigators are looking into 
possible motives.  Venkatesh said that Muslim groups 
who oppose the ongoing court trials of the 137 Muslims 
accused in a 2003 case of communal killings at Marad 
near Kozhikode might be behind the bomb blasts, but 
this is yet to be confirmed.  Kozhikode is a coastal 
city in north Kerala with a significant Muslim 
population. 
 
4. (SBU) According to Madhavan Nair, a senior 
journalist with the newspaper, The Hindu, and based in 
Kozhikode, the explosions were not meant to kill.  He 
told Post that there were anonymous calls to the 
District Collector's office and a local newspaper 
office informing authorities of the bombs and that the 
explosions took place while the police teams were 
conducting their search.  He believes that the 
explosions were aimed at testing the reaction of the 
local police or to create panic among the public 
during the election time.  Kerala state assembly 
elections are set to begin on April 22. 
 
5. (SBU) Nair told Post that local Muslim groups such 
as the NDF (National Development Front), established 
in 1993, pursue a covert Islamist agenda, and receive 
funds from Gulf countries with large presences of 
expatriate Keralites.  He said that there is a build- 
up of communal tension in north Kerala, and in some 
places country bombs are being manufactured.  On 
January 2, Kerala Police seized 45 gelatin sticks from 
a transport corporation cloakroom in Kozhikode, 
following a tip-off. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
COMMENT: SECURITY PRECAUTIONS REQUIRED 
-------------------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) COMMENT: In the backdrop of these recent 
events, albeit minor, and the anti-U.S. attitude of 
the Islamic groups dominant in the region, we 
recommend that U.S. Mission programs and visits to 
Kozhikode and other north Kerala towns be coordinated 
with the Regional Security Office at Consulate General 
Chennai.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOPPER 

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