80 people suspected to have been influenced by ISIS ideology: Rajnath

, 4:33 PM IST
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New Delhi : Around 80 people suspected to have been influenced by the ISIS ideology have been held in the country but no input suggests that the radical organisation has established a base in India, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

There is “no need to be worried” about the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) spreading in India, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said during the Question Hour.

Addressing members’ concerns, he said if some youth get influenced by the radical ideology of the terrorist organisation, the government runs a counter-radicalism programme.

Congress member Digvijay Singh referred to some US-based intelligence websites and said these had claimed that Saifullah, who had been killed in an encounter in UP, was linked to the IS. He wanted to know the government’s position on this.

The Home minister replied that the investigation in the case was going on. Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said a few youth had got influenced by the online propaganda but the intelligence agencies have been maintaining a round-the-clock vigil.

Overall, around 80 people, suspected to have been influenced, have been held and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is looking into these aspects, Ahir said. He said in Kerala, it was suspected that 22 people had left the country to join ISIS and for 16, the government has worked to get Interpol notices issued. Such action has not been taken regarding the women and children among them, he said.

Ahir said that India has a population of around 17 crore people belonging to the muslim community and the number of people influenced is “quite miniscule”. There is no reason to worry, he said.

The minister added that religious leaders have also urged people to maintain distance from such terrorist organisations. The members sought to know whether lack of employment opportunities was pushing the youth towards ISIS to which Home Minister Singh said that several developmental programmes were being run in the country including those run for the minorities.

PTI