Negating the reports of any presence of dreaded terror organisation Islamic State (IS) in Jammu and Kashmir, the state Director General Police (DGP) K Rajendra said on Saturday that some teenagers wave flags of the IS in the Valley for fun.
“Police investigations reveal that some youth in the age group of 16 to 18 years wave the flags of Islamic State for fun. After the police investigations were conducted to find the reason behind the surfacing of the IS flags during protests in Kashmir, it was found that there was no such conviction that is luring the young boys to wave the flags,” the DGP told reporters here.
He said the youth who were arrested in connection with waving of the (IS) flags can’t be termed “ideologues” of the terror organisation. “I can tell you that some boys are doing it just for fun. There is no ideology of IS reaching Kashmir. Those who wave IS flags are the boys between the age group of 16 to 18 years. You cannot declare them as IS ideologues,” the state police chief said.
Flags of Pakistan, Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) and IS were waved several times in the past few months across the Valley during separatist rallies and protests. Despite the Centre’s warning against such incidents, the separatists continue to dare the government by waving Pak, LeT and IS flags repeatedly.
Defence analysts say the daring display of IS flags will give a boost to the radicalisation in Kashmir valley, as more number of local educated youth are joining militancy.
“The unfurling of IS flags doesn’t mean that they have made penetration in India, but it’s going to have an impact on local militants in Kashmir, who have been trying to control the valley since long. Pakistan, through the Hurriyat leaders, has been successful in creating disturbances in the valley. The IS flag is symbolic for the youths who are attracted to the IS ideology of brutal extremism,” they believe.
The J&K police chief accepted that local youth joining militancy was a concern. However, he said, it was not alarming.
“This situation indeed merits concern but it cannot be termed alarming. There are various reasons why the young minds are lured to tread the violent path. Unemployment is one of the reasons,” he said.
Police sources maintain that more than 100 youth from the Valley have joined militant outfits in the last few months. According to them, youths between 18 and 25 years have joined indigenous terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and are getting trained in handling weapons and explosives.