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Villagers worried as man embraces Islam

Published On : 31 Aug 2016   |  Reported By : Courtesy : The Hindu

Mangaluru (The Hindu): The cause of their worry: the 24-year-old man could have been influenced by radical Islamists

The decision of a 24-year-old man to embrace Islam has created controversy in Mandekolu village in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada.

A former gram panchayat president has called for a protest on Wednesday seeking action against those who influenced him to embrace Islam, as the villagers are worried that the man, Sathish M., could have been influenced by radical Islamists.

The villagers came to know that Sathish M. had embraced Islam following a message on WhatsApp that showed the image of a discharge certificate issued by the Therbiyathul Islam Sabha of Kozhikode in Kerala.

The certificate issued on April 15, 2015 said that Sathish has changed his name to Muhammed Mustakim following his four-month stay at the sabha.

A member of Sathish’s family said that they were unaware of this change till they saw the image of the certificate on their mobile phones.

Though Sathish denied his conversion initially, the family member said, he admitted to voluntarily embracing Islam.

He said that Sathish was yet to formally approach the gram panchayat for change of name.

Now, Sathish’s family members and those in the neighbourhood are concerned that he [Sathish] could have been influenced by radicals to adopt radical Islam.

“There have been conversions earlier too. But this conversion comes at a time when youths from Kerala have left their villages to join the IS. We are worried,” said the former Mandekolu Gram Panchayat president Suresh Kanemaradka, who is also Sathish’s neighbour.

Superintendent of Police Bhushan Gulabrao Borase said that an individual has the choice to practice a religion of his choice.

The police will take adequate precautions to prevent any breach of law and order in the region, Mr. Borase added.

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