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Government and populace must sit up and take note of growing radicalisation of youth

The recent encounter between the police and suspected Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Lucknow is an eye-opener for the government, especially the intelligence agencies in the country. It is all the more important as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had expressed confidence in December 2016 that the IS would not be able to spread its roots in India.

The encounter with Saifullah was the first such incident in Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, Indian agencies had arrested several youths from Maharashtra, Kerala and Hyderabad on suspicion of being in contact with overseas IS handlers. A few of them succeeded in reaching Syria and Afghanistan where they reportedly laid down their lives and achieved “martyrdom”.

The UP Anti Terror Squad (ATS) says that the information excavated from the laptops of the arrested IS suspects after the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train blast indicates the IS was planning to carry out serial blasts at Kanpur’s Dewa Sharif, shrine of Waris Ali Shah, similar to last month’s terror attack on Sufi Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine in Karachi, Pakistan.

The growing number of youths being influenced by the IS should be treated as an alarm bell by the authorities and the people of this country.

Abhinandan Mishra, quoting diplomatic documents released by WikiLeaks, revealed in an article published in the London-based The Guardian in June 2015 that individuals and institutions in Saudi Arabia were pumping in money worth millions of rupees into India to open religious trusts and non-governmental organisations.

WikiLeaks, while producing an undated document originating from the embassy of Saudi Arabia in New Delhi, listed Indian institutions and societies which had applied for financial assistance. The document suggests that the government of Saudi Arabia itself pledged donations to nine such institutions located across Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala and Maharashtra.

According to the document, Saudi Arabia pledged 75,000 Saudi rials (SR) to two societies for establishing a madarsa building and a vocational centre for girls in Mirzapur and Siddarth Nagar, respectively.

The Saudis also pledged 2.5 million SR to Islamic Mission Trust, Mallauram, Kerala, and one million SR each to the Kerala branch of the Islamic Welfare Trust and the Palghat Mujahideen Arabic College Committee for expanding the medical college and hospital building.

The role of Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation is currently under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate after the Dhaka terror suspect admitted being influenced by his preaching. Peace TV, run by the Foundation, was already banned in several countries including India, Bangladesh, Canada and the UK. Naik was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in March 2015 for his “service to Islam” by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

By Abu Turab

Image courtesy: Rstv.nic.in/

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