Can't allow Indians to fight Islamic State, may trigger sectarian conflict in India: Home Ministry

The Central government has spelled out why it does not want Indians to fight the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.

Can't allow Indians to fight Islamic State, may trigger sectarian conflict in India: Home Ministry

New Delhi: The Central government has spelled out why it does not want Indians to fight the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.

The government told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that it fears if Indians join the fight against the IS, it may “directly result in sectarian conflict in India”, the Indian Express reported.

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In an affidavit filed in the HC, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that it does not want Indians to travel to Iraq and Syria to fight Islamic State as it fears they could get radicalised and indulge in extremist activities upon their return to India.

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“Allowing any sect to take part in the conflict in Iraq/Syria would have had repercussions on other sects in India. This could directly result in sectarian conflict within India, which is not in the interest of the nation,” the affidavit stated, as per the daily.

The Home Ministry further told the court that it was of the view joining the fight against Islamic State militants would tantamount to joining “terrorist activities”. This, in turn, would “adversely impact friendly relations with the foreign countries”, the affidavit added.

“Allowing an Indian to go to another country to take part in a conflict would lead to allegations that the Indian government is promoting terrorism in other countries,” the ministry said.

The ministry also expressed fears for the safety of Indians volunteering to participate in the fight against IS.

The government said that it decided to take pre-emptive steps following inputs that several Muslim organisations were planning to send volunteers to fight against the IS in Iraq and Syria.

The affidavit was filed in response to a court notice on a PIL by Delhi-based lawyer Mehmood Pracha, who had challenged the look-out-circular issued against him and five other members of the Shia organisation Anjuman-e-Haideri (AeH), the daily reported.

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