From Kashmir to Kerala: The spread of Islamic State sympathisers in India
Though there is no confirmed presence of the terror group's fighters in the country, India has not remained untouched by IS activities.
New Delhi: The recent terror attack in Dhaka, claimed by the Islamic State, has brought renewed focus on the terror group's activities in the Indian subcontinent.
Though there is no confirmed presence of the terror group's fighters in the country, India has not remained untouched by its activities.
There have been cases of Indians travelling to Iraq and Syria to join the terror group – some managed to leave the country's shores while some were apprehended just in time.
Also, some are behind bars for working for the terror group while staying back in India.
Following are some of the cases which highlight the Islamic State's reach in India:
In Kashmir, it has become a routine for the youth to wave Islamic State's flag every Friday after prayers. Also, the terror group has said, as per a National Investigation Agency chargesheet, that it wants Kashmir under its 'caliphate' and not under Pakistan or any other regional terror group.
Very recently, in Kerala, 21 persons including four children reportedly went missing. The missing includes a pregnant woman. Police suspect the missing could have joined the Islamic State. What's shocking is that those who are not traceable include a doctor's family and a computer engineer along with his wife and friends.
Maharashtra has seen cases of young men leaving India for Iraq and Syria to fight with the terror group. Some of these men who were identified include Aarif Majid, Aman Tandel, Fahad Shaikh and Saleem Tanki (all from Kalyan). In fact, Fahad and Aman were later seen in an IS video which warned of attacks in India.
Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a management executive working with an MNC, was arrested by the Bengaluru police in 2014 for working as a propaganda activist for the terror group.
Telangana has seen many instances of youth being intercepted ahead of leaving the country for places like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and even Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. In most of such cases, the youth were counselled before their parents and allowed to go back home with a warning.
Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, which has on many occasions come under the radar of intelligence agencies for alleged terror-related activities, has seen two of its residents – Abu Rashid Ahmad and Mohammad Bada Sajid – being spotted in an IS video. The duo warned of terror attacks in India in that video. In fact, Rashid is suspected to have played a role in blasts carried out by the home-grown Indian Mujahideen terror group between 2005 and 2008.
A suspected terrorist, Mohammed Musiruddin, was earlier this month arrested in West Bengal for undergoing training for terror groups like the Islamic State and Bangladesh's JMB in Kashmir. The worrying factor is – West Bengal has a 2,200-kilometre long porous borderline with Bangladesh which can be exploited by the IS that has already shown its presence in the neighbouring country.