NEW DELHI: Increasing attempts by Islamic militant groups and Maoists to influence vulnerable sections have prompted the Centre to set up a high-level committee to suggest ways to counter radicalisation attempts.
The five-member committee, comprising government officials and academicians, will prepare a comprehensive plan to roll out counter-radicalisation initiatives that will include preventive measures as well as steps for de-radicalisation. The panel has been asked to submit a report by January 31, sources said.
The decision is significant as the ISIS has been making consistent efforts to radicalise the youth. Only recently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) busted an ISIS-inspired module and arrested 10 people from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
The committee was set up following a meeting in December of officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, NIA, police officers from Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra and academicians.
The meeting discussed the causes of radicalisation, need for training security personnel to handle such cases and the need to involve families and communities in de-radicalising the youth.
The meeting discussed radicalisation of Muslim youth as well as that of people in Naxal affected areas. The involvement of religious leaders to ensure that holy scriptures are not misinterpreted was also discussed.
The project is being handled by the National Police Mission programme, which is anchored by the Bureau of Police Research and Development.
Terming it a “significant” project, a senior MHA official said, “Some states have a policy of their own but a national policy to counter radicalisation is very much needed.”
The project won’t be restricted to radicalisation of people of one region, caste or religion, said an official.
Maharashtra shows the way
Maharashtra is one of the few states to have a policy to counter radicalisation. Till mid-2017, the state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad, which runs the programme, claims to have de-radicalised 114 youths, including 10 women, in two years