NEW DELHI: Only seven Indians are currently with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, just one in a combat role, while six from the country who had joined the dreaded terror network have gone down fighting.
Official sources said of the seven Indians with ISIS -- two are from Mumbai's outskirts Kalyan, and an Australia-based Kashmiri. Four others joined the Jihadist group from Telangana, Karnataka capital Bengaluru, Oman and Singapore.
Among the six Indians, who fought alongside the ISIS and got killed were three Indian Mujahideen terrorists, including Sultan Ajmer Shah and Bada Sajid, who had joined its ranks after being in Pakistan, two from Maharashtra and one from Telangana.
Quoting intelligence inputs, sources said, except for one, none of the six other Indians currently with ISIS are allowed to go for combat duty and mostly assist the fighters, serving as cooks, drivers and helpers.
The only Indian, who has been given an assault rifle and is deployed for combat, hails from Mumbai outskirts Kalyan, they said.
So far, 17 young men, mostly from Telangana, have been prevented from travelling to Syria, ostensibly to join ISIS.
The issue of radicalised Indian youths joining ISIS had figured prominently during a meeting of top security experts here on Saturday.
Chaired by Union Home Secretary L C Goyal, the meeting of DGPs and Home Secretaries of 12 states, formulated a strategy on how to prevent the youth from getting attracted to radical ideologies propagated by organisations like the ISIS.
The proposed steps included involving community elders in dissuading the young people from joining such outfits, monitoring of radical social media platforms and real-time sharing of information among security agencies.
Counter-radicalisation efforts would include counselling the vulnerable youths.
Maharashtra and Telangana have already put in place a model for dealing with ISIS-related cases. While there have been arrests in some cases, agencies realised that arrest should not be the first option.
Monitoring of social media has, meanwhile, begun, sources said, adding efforts would be made to gain confidence of the Muslim community.