Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday sounded an alert against attempts by Pakistan to revive Sikh militancy and the Khalistan movement in Punjab. He accused the ISI of training Sikh youth and giving them arms and explosives.
He criticised Pakistan-based terror groups for transferring funds to India via the Gulf and Nepal besides through Western Union Money Transfer and hawala channels.
“There have also been significant developments on the Sikh militancy front. Its commanders based in Pakistan are under pressure from the ISI to further its terror plans not only in Punjab but also in other parts of the country. Sikh youth are being trained in ISI facilities in Pakistan,” Mr. Shinde said at the Chief Ministers’ Conference on internal security here.
“Interdictions and interrogations have revealed use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks. Sikh youth based and settled in Europe and the U.S. are also being motivated in this regard. A large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives, including RDX, managed to find its way into Punjab through the borders, even as a significant quantity of RDX has since been recovered in police action in Rajasthan and Punjab in the last one year,” he noted.
Pointing to a new modus operandi of the Pakistan-based terror groups to fund violence in India, Mr. Shinde said: “Jehadi tanzeems [groups] in Pakistan with affiliation to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohamed and Indian Mujahideen have set up channels for transfer of funds from Pakistan to India.” He noted that ex-cadres of banned SIMI and similar militant elements based in the Gulf were also observed collecting money for causing destruction in India.
The Minister said India continued to face serious challenges to its internal security from Jehadi terrorists, and terror groups were taking advantage of communication channels which have become more sophisticated over a period of time. “From mobile phones, terrorists today have moved on to use of satellite phones, Thuraya sets, use of spoofed IDs and coded transactions over e-mail and chat sessions, besides ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’ to communicate across the border,” he added.