Sikh youth being radicalised by Pakistan’s ISI through social media: Govt
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) was training Sikh youngsters to carry out terrorist strikes in India, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) informed a parliamentary panel.
The ministry told the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates that members of the Sikh community, settled in Canada and European countries, were being ‘instigated against India with false propaganda’.
A report, ‘Central Armed Police Forces and Internal Security Challenges — Evaluation and Response Mechanism’, which was tabled by the ministry in Parliament on Monday said: “Sikh youth are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan. Interdictions and interrogations have revealed use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks.”
The “commanders” of Pakistan-based terror groups were under pressure from ISI to further the agency’s terror plans about Punjab and also other parts of India, it added. The, MHA, however said security agencies were monitoring the situation.
The committee was also informed that radicalisation of Indian youngsters by terrorist groups through the misuse of internet and social media had emerged as a big challenge for security agencies.
“The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” an MHA note to the committee read.
The ministry told the panel that India continued to remain the prime focus of terrorist outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and a faction of the Indian Mujahideen along with groups like the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Al-Unmah. The growing presence of Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda in the Indian sub-continent has started to pose new challenges to the existing security environment, the ministry added.
The MHA also said that Left Wing Extremism (LWE) continued to pose a challenge to the country’s internal security.
“Since its formation in September 2004, CPI(Maoist) has emerged as the most potent among the LWE outfits active in the country,” the MHA report said.