The government has not seen any hints of a possible nexus between Maoists and Islamic State so far, Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
A query was raised in the Upper House “if it is a fact that a nexus between Islamic State and various Naxal groups of the country has come to notice, as supporters in country have been caught trying to carry out a big attack in the country by taking training and weapons from the naxalites (another word for Maoists).”
The minister of state for home affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary replied in the negative, saying among the agencies probing cases related to IS, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested 25 persons, Telangana Police six, Madhya Pradesh police five, Maharashtra and Delhi Police four each, Tamil Nadu police three, Karnataka police and Rajasthan Police one each.
“... no terror attack by ISIS (another acronym for IS) has been reported in the country,” he said.
The minister said a few incidents of unfurling of flags of IS by some “misguided youth” were noticed on different occasions in Jammu and Kashmir in the recent past.
“Police and public order being state subjects, the state governments concerned, have been directed to take appropriate action against such elements as per relevant provisions of law,” he said.
Chaudhary said IS led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which split from al-Qaeda in February 2014 is using both positive and negative imagery to attract the youth at a global level, including India.
“However, it has influenced/attracted very few youth from India. The National Investigation Agency and the State Police in some States have registered cases and arrested some active cadres affiliated to ISIS in the recent past,” he said.
He said the IS is using various internet-based platforms for propaganda and to propagate its ideology. The intelligence and security agencies monitor the cyber space closely to identify political recruits and keep them under surveillance and take further action, if necessary.
“In order to assess the threat posed by ISIS/ISIL and to devise a national strategy to deal with it, meetings have been held by the ministry of home affairs with all the central agencies concerned and the state governments on August 1, 2015 and January 16, 2016 respectively. The government has taken all necessary measures including sensitisation of the states to counter the incipient threat posed by the ISIS,” he said.
The minister said since 2013, nine major terrorist attacks have taken place in the hinterland. However, these do not indicate any trend of attacks on targets near the national highways.