News by Achinta Borah/PTI:
Growing incidents of online radicalisation by dreaded terror group ISIS and reports of youth in India raring to join its network kept the Home Ministry on its toes in 2015.
The year also saw some tensions triggered by the lynching of a man in Dadri over rumours of beef consumption.
Tough action against “erring” NGOs and change of Union Home Secretary twice also marked the events in the Ministry.
Sporadic violence by militants in Jammu and Kashmir, Maoist attacks on security forces in central India and killing of 18 soldiers by NSCN-K in Manipur were a few other key issues that the Ministry had to deal with.
As 2015 winds up, Home Minister Rajnath Singh promised that government will ensure peaceful, secure and harmonious environment in the country in the coming year, stressing that security of women will be its top priority.
Singh also said the security scenario has shown marked improvement during the year, especially in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern region.
But it was the issue of radicalisation of Muslim youth that has emerged as a concern for the Home Ministry. In fact, National Investigation Agency’s Director General Sharad Kumar has conceded that ISIS is emerging as a major threat for radicalisation of youth, especially in South India.
He feels that though ISIS has not taken root in India, it is influencing the youth through the internet and social media.
According to an estimate prepared by the intelligence agencies, at least 23 Indians have gone to ISIS-held areas in Iraq-Syria to fight for the terrorist group after they were radicalised online, forcing security forces to keep a close eye on social media outlets and some radical websites.
Six of them were killed while one returned home in Mumbai.
At least 30 other Indians, who were radicalised by ISIS elements, were also prevented from travelling to the conflict zone in the Middle-East.
Nearly 150 youth in the country are also under the surveillance of security agencies for their alleged leanings towards ISIS. Efforts are on to de-radicalise them with the help of their families and community elders.
In an advisory sent after the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, the Home Ministry had said the multiple strikes clearly indicate the intention of ISIS to expand the area of terror action beyond the core Iraq and Syria.
The Home Ministry said that though the ISIS has not been able to establish any significant presence in India, its success in radicalising some youth, attracting certain sections of local population or Indian diaspora to physically participate in its activities or the possibility of piggy backing on terrorist groups operating in India have opened up the possibility of ISIS-sponsored terrorist action on Indian territory. .