Members of the Indian diaspora, including students are being kept a close eye on by Indian investigative agencies, for fear of growing IS influence.
According to sources quoted by DNA, more than 500 individuals living abroad have already been ‘surveyed’, and that too much before the Paris attacks on November 13. This was done on the Union Home Ministry’s orders to the agencies to keep the diaspora under observation. The states and Union territories have all been advised to do the same.
The advisory sent to Director Generals of Police read: “Though the IS 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 IS-sponsored terrorist attacks on Indian territory.”
“Between 2014 and 2015, more than 500 persons, who were either travelling to foreign countries or have gone there for permanent settlement, were kept under surveillance. We have also been keeping a tab on persons who have extended families abroad,” a source remarked.
The people investigated included both students and those settled abroad for work for more than two years. Of the number ‘surveyed’, atleast 40-50 youths, mostly from south Indian states, are said to have close IS links. They haven’t spoken to their families for more than a year, informed agencies.
“We have found out that 40-50 youths have communicated with members of IS through social media. There is high possibility that they might be in contact with the Indian diaspora as well,” added the official.
Last Friday, the home ministry met with senior state agency officials, where it said that the recent terror attacks in Paris was an indication of the IS aim to expand from its main operation in Iraq and Syria.
Afsha Jabeen also known as Nicky Joseph, is a 37-year-old woman who was deported by the UAE in September for allegedly carrying out IS recruits via social media. Turkey deported yet another girl, a 17-year-old girl from UAE, who had been going there to join the IS.
Reportedly, already as many as 23 Indian youths from have already joined IS, while 70 have been stopped. Intelligence officials say that six youths from India died while fighting beside the terror group.
Athif Vaseem Mohammad, Mohammad Umar Subhan , Maulana Abdul Kadir Sultan Armar, Saheem Farooque Tanki, Faiz Masood,all hailing from south Indian cities, and Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid from UP, are the ones who died.
(Inputs from dna)