NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has convened a meeting of at least 12 states in the North Block on Saturday to discuss increasing radicalisation and terrorism in the country.
“DG Police and State Home Secretaries are likely to attend the discussion. The focus is on community outreach, de-radicalisation, ways to counter self-radicalisation, outreach in schools, cyber patrolling of social media platforms etc. The Centre wants to know the extent of radicalisation in each state, throw up ideas and bring a policy for counter-radicalisation,” MHA sources said.
Counter-radicalisation helps security agencies to proactively neutralise radical elements while de-radicalisation is a process to build the trust through community outreach programmes to prevent youths from going astray.
A senior MHA official pointed out that the Central Government is planning to evolve a counter-radicalisation and de-radicalisation doctrine which is different from the western world where it did little to address the roots of extremism and in fact triggered more suspicion among the people from a particular community.
He maintained that de-radicalisation has to be sensitive where people should not feel that they are seen as potential terrorists.
“India cannot have one uniform policy because of each states facing different level of radicalisation. UP’s issue is different from that of Andhra Pradesh, so what we will have is a policy where states can also help each other and implement as per their requirement,” the MHA official said. It is learnt from the reliable sources that Intelligence Bureau (IB) will also make a presentation on the issue. Former IB Director Nehchal Sandhu had played a key role in launching counter-radicalisation and de-radicalisation policy in 2011.
The IB has recently raised concerns over self-radicalisation due to penetration of social media platform and easily to access ‘jihadi’ literature online. A MHA official argued that despite having a large number of minority population -- 180 million Muslims -- number of suspects who joined IS in Syria and Iraq is significantly low due to the liberal plural secular democracy. “We have a robust mechanism and several programmes are dedicated for minority welfare which helped to bring unity and sense of integration. But, it cannot be said that there is no radicalisation. We admit there are reports which suggest that self-radicalisation have increased in the last couple of years due to IS traction and it has to be dealt with full sensitivity,” he said.
Need Uniform policy to counter IS
Sources said the high-level meeting on Saturday, likely to be attended by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, J&K, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana, MP, West Bengal, UP and Maharashtra, will also discuss the impact of terror outfit IS’s online propaganda and need for a uniform policy of de-radicalisation involving communities and schools.