In the backdrop of the lone wolf terror attack in France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet state chief ministers on Saturday to discuss religious radicalisation and Pakistan-sponsored terror in the hinterland.
The meeting comes right on the heels of an interaction between state counter-terror chiefs that revealed the technological limitations police forces face while patrolling cyberspace, where most radicalisation is taking place, and their struggles to have adequate human assets on the ground.
The 11th Inter-State Council meeting, to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, will focus on intelligence sharing, coordination for combatting terror, insurgency, police reforms and modernisation.
While the agenda paper accessed by HT does not mention the Islamic State (IS) threat or religious radicalisation, the topic will find resonance in a preliminary briefing to the chief ministers by home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.
The agenda paper blames Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence for promoting terror in India through affiliate terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jasih-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen and Indian Mujahideen. It says there have been at least 56 infiltration attempts in Jammu and Kashmir so far this year, and points to the presence of 12 terrorist training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and five in Pakistan.
The meeting of the counter-terror chiefs laid bare the police’s inability to block online radicalisation since the servers of popular applications like Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and Pidgin are based in the US or Europe.
The police want these companies to have servers in India so they can immediately get to the location of IP addresses being used for radicalisation or planning terror attacks. They also want more human resources to develop intelligence on the ground to pre-empt any terror threat.
Online radicalisation has become a major security issue. No less than 60 Indians are in the Islamic State ranks in Syria, and recent news of 21 missing Kerala youth joining the terror group has brought home this threat even more.
The police have had some success in busting IS modules in Haridwar and Hyderabad, with the help of security agencies, and pre-empting their plans to attack temples and gatherings to cause communal tensions.
But despite the seriousness of the IS threat, states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal — which has a real problem on its hands due to the rising influence of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh — are yet to set up anti-terror squads due to political sensitivities.
The agenda paper also points to the threat from Left-wing extremists, who are trying to target new states and carve out a base on the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.