A street in Kerala's Thuruthi ward of Kasaragod municipality has the attention of intelligence agencies in India because of a recent change of name.
The Times of India reports that 'Gaza' Street has attracted the attention of intelligence agencies obviously because of the name and proximity to Padane, the area from which 21 youth went missing and are supposed to have joined the Islamic State.
Gaza is the conflict-ridden strip of land between Israel and Egypt that is a self-governing Palestinian territory.
The report suggests that the name of the street was changed last month was inaugurated by the Kasargod Panchayat president AGC Basheer.
But authorities seem to be unaware of why the street was renamed.
The Times of India quoted Kasaragod municipality opposition leader P Ramesh as saying, "There is a deliberate attempt to change the names of various areas in Kasaragod. When such matters come to the municipal council, there will be a debate and if the name is not of public acceptance, it will be rejected. For the same reason, many such names are not brought to the attention of the council."
However, local leaders refuted the worry of intelligence agencies and said that the name was given because of concern for people in Gaza.
A local leader, on the condition of anonymity, told The News Minute, "Gaza is a place where people, especially children suffer a lot due to never ending war. Expressing our concern for the people of Gaza, that name is popular in Kasaragod. We are actually against the Islamic State and we believe that they are not true Muslims as they kill people, and create lakhs of refugees with small children living in refugee camps for years. That is why the name Gaza is used."
But Gaza street in Kerala is not the only place in India with the name. Downtown Srinagar is also know as the Gaza Strip of Kashmir.
However, the reason behind the name in Kashmir is much more apparent than the street in Kerala.
Downtown Srinagar is supposed to be the epicentre of Kashmir's resistance and call for 'azadi'.
As pointed out by this article, the name came about because Kashmiris think that their struggle mirrors that of Palestine.
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