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Highly radicalized suspect in Kerala train fire: investigator

Saifi, a Delhi resident, is accused of dousing other passengers with fuel aboard a train headed for Kannur on April 2 and setting them on fire.

A top police official stated on Monday that Shahrukh Saifi, 27, the lone defendant in the April 2 Kerala train arson case, is extremely radicalized considering the videos and other materials found on his mobile phones. The videos include those of preacher Zakir Naik and Pakistani theologian Israr Ahmed, according to additional director general of police M. R. Ajith Kumar, who oversees the Special Investigation Team (SIT) looking into the issue.

His history and other information indicate that he is a very radicalized man. He has been watching a lot of videos, particularly those of Ahmed and Naik. If he received assistance from other sources, it is too soon to say,” added Kumar. He stated that because it is such a delicate matter, further information cannot be released at this time.

As reported by Kumar, they have information on Saifi’s journey from Delhi to Shornur and his subsequent escape. “He clearly had a strategy in mind to commit arson. Our investigation into whether he had assistance from some extremist groups in Kerala or from other regions of the country is ongoing,” he claimed.

On April 2, Saifi, a native of Delhi, is accused of dousing other passengers with fuel and lighting them on fire in a train headed towards Kannur. Three people, one of whom was a toddler, perished when they leaped off the rushing train out of fear. Nine more people suffered burn injuries. On April 4, Saifi was taken into custody in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.

A second officer who asked to remain unnamed said the attack was well-planned and conducted, and there were ongoing inquiries in three additional states. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act violation that Saifi was accused of on Sunday permitted the National probe Agency to take over the probe.

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