Thiruvananthapuram: Police in Kerala, who took into custody a 21 people believed to have been undergoing arms training in a building at Narath Pamburuthi road in Kannur, suspect that they may be linked to terror outfits. The gang, suspected to be members of the Popular Front of India, were operating from the building after giving the impression that the building housed the office of a charitable organisation.

Police have recovered explosives, a sword, currency, mobile phones, an Iranian identity card and a wooden human dummy that may have been used for assault training. Some pamphlets were also among articles seized from the house.

Police said it was yet to be decided whether investigations would be taken forward by state-level officials or involve the National Investigation Agency. The latter option is seen as a possibility by many, considering the likelihood of terror links for the gang. Some reports said a few members of the gang escaped when police surrounded the building.

North zone additional director general of police, Shanker Reddy said, “It is a matter of utmost seriousness.” Reddy visited the site on Wednesday with a team of police officers. One of the 21 gang members is believed to have been involved in a murder case eight years ago.

Police got wind of the activities in the building through an anonymous source. Most of those who have been held do not belong to the locality.