New Delhi: A top security official on Wednesday sought to downplay threat of radicalisation of Indian youths by terror group ISIS, saying there were some "stray" incidents and those have been "taken care of" by security agencies.
The Officer on Special Duty to National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and former RAW chief, Alok Joshi, said there was no widespread influence of ISIS ideology and the "stray cases" were mainly out of "curiosity" over the radical outfit.
"I will contest the point that there is a widespread pull of ISIS (in India)... We are not in agreement with that. Now, I am not there (in RAW) but certainly when I was, we didn't see the kind of spread that people generally believed to be there (for the terror group). That is just not there," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference to discuss counter-IED strategies by National Security Guard (NSG).
Joshi, who retired as RAW chief on December 31 and is set to take over as the NTRO Chairman on April 1, said those who were probably swayed by the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have since been taken care of.
"There is a certain curiosity element as to what ISIS is all about. But there is no sign of any great involvement (of Indian youths with ISIS)... One or two stray cases may be there... But people have been suitably cautioned, informed and assisted... This is the kind of response that is required (against the activities of ISIS). Please feel reassured on that," he said.
Joshi, however, evaded a direct reply to a question on the recent controversy over an intercept by NTRO following which the Coast Guard fired on a Pakistani fishing vessel off the Gujarat coast.
"It is very unfair to constantly cast doubt on this aspect... I can tell you that till yesterday I was a consumer of NTRO information and there was never any difficulty in giving information or interacting with NTRO at any level.
"Let me assure that there are processes in place at the cutting-edge level in the agency (NTRO). This (exchange of snoop data) is not an issue at all," he said.
To questions whether the operation off the Gujarat coast on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 was correct or whether there was an inquiry instituted to probe lapses, if any, he said to the best of his knowledge, there was "no inquiry" but "I am only an understudy as of now."