Centre-states meet to counter radical forces

Centre-states meet to counter radical forces

The Centre on Saturday started consulting with state governments ways to frame a strategy for countering radicalisation and checking spread of religious extremism. Officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and intelligence agencies discussed measures like keeping tab on social media platforms and community outreach with police chiefs.

Home Secretary L C Goyal chaired the meeting, which was attended by police chiefs of 12 states and top intelligence officials.

The state home secretaries also took part in the meeting, which the Centre convened to sensitise the states about the existing and emerging threats to internal security.

The meeting came at a time when reports of Islamic State’s (IS) flags being waved in Kashmir and youths travelling to Syria and Iraq to join the terror outfit added to concerns of New Delhi, which has also received intelligence inputs about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s organisation planning to carry out strikes in India.

According to a recent report of the Intelligence Bureau, at least 11 youths from India, including four from Kalyan in Maharashtra, joined the ISIS, which, just over the past one year has emerged as the most ruthless terror outfit of the world.  The intelligence agencies also reported that at least five Indians, including engineering student Haneef Waseem from Hyderabad, were killed while fighting for the IS in Iraq and Syria.

Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who hails from West Bengal, was caught in Bengaluru last year for using his Twitter account to propagate the IS’s extremist ideology and motivate youths to join it.

Areeb Majeed, who hails from Kalyan in Maharashtra, returned to India and was taken in custody by the National Investigation Agency, while five others from the country are still in the war zone of Iraq and Syria fighting for the IS.

Apart from Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Assam, Punjab, West Bengal and Delhi were asked to send representatives to the meeting in New Delhi.

MHA officials said the meeting was held to “further streamline the institutional mechanisms for sharing information and to adequately meet the threats from terrorism”.

It was decided to strengthen the capacity of the state police through training programmes, to be organised by central intelligence and security agencies, official sources said.
“Some instances of radicalisation of youth in some states came up for discussion. Appropriate measures on counter-radicalisation including counselling of such youth and their families were also discussed,” the MHA said in an official press release.

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