ISIS threat: Centre convenes meeting of state DGPs

01 August 2015

Union home ministry today convened a high-level meeting of home secretaries and DGPs of 12 states to review the situation arising from the increased threat posture of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The meeting, chaired by union home secretary LC Goyal in the national capital, will take stock of the terror group's efforts to influence the youth in the country and will discuss efforts being made to counter the militant group's ideologies.

Officials from 12 states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Telangana and Kerala, are taking part in the deliberations.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of the recent abduction of four Indian nationals by suspected ISIS terrorists in Libya.

Although Indian embassy officials in Tripoli managed to secure release of two of them, two of them are still being held by the abductors.

Reports citing declassified government documents, meanwhile, said the government is looking at de-radicalising the youth swayed by the idea of `jihad' as the best way to combat the ISIS threat in India.

Mail Today earlier reported that the home ministry after deliberations with state government and agencies like Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis wing has formulated this strategy of not going for knee-jerk arrests in cases of Indian youth getting attracted by ISIS.

"Our strategy requires response on many fronts. There is scope to fine tune all aspects for which this meeting has been called," said a top home ministry official.

States like Maharashtra and Telangana are already dealing with ISIS related cases. However, the authorities have been careful to avoid arrest of suspects as far as possible and that would be the last option.

Sources say the suspects are being kept under a watch and if they seem to go beyond a limit they are stopped, as was done in Telangana and Maharashtra.
Agencies had, over the last year, identified more than 25 youth as inspired by ISIS and wanting to join it. Although their number is small and the government considers the appeal of ISIS has limited influence on youth and the overall influence of the group directly in the country is very little.

Although there is no concrete evidence if ISIS activism in the country, intelligence inputs show that ISIS sympathisers are active in India and the threat is real and there cannot be any loosening of the grip.

However, several states have made little efforts to deal with the situation so far even after warning by the IB as well as the Army last month of a possible strike by ISIS across the country.

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