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ISI training Sikh youth: Home ministry

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The Home Ministry has told a parliamentary panel that Sikh youths were being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan to carry out terror activities in India. Senior Ministry officials also told the Committee on Estimates that Sikh youths settled in Europe, U.S and Canada were being “misguided and instigated against India with false and malicious propaganda.”

The officials told the panel that some “brainwashed children” participated in stone pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir “because they were being paid money” or “because of social media pressure.” The panel was told that “when terrorists were killed on July 8, 2016, they were glorified” and sponsors of cross-border terrorism wanted to bring children to the forefront “by hook or by crook.”

The panel, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, tabled the report ‘Central armed police forces and internal security challenges-evaluation and response mechanism’ in Parliament on Monday.

“...commanders (of Sikh militancy) based in Pakistan are under pressure from ISI to further ISI’s plans not only in Punjab but also in other parts of the country. Sikh youth are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan. Interdictions and interrogations have revealed use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks,” the report said.

On the issue of new challenges which have emerged as a threat to internal security, the ministry, in a note furnished to the committee, voiced concern over radicalisation of youths by the terrorist groups through the misuse of internet and social media.

“The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers, etc. to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Activities of radicalised people returning from conflict areas and threat of lone wolf attack are also a challenge,” it said.

The ministry told the panel that India continued to remain the prime focus of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and a faction of the Indian Mujahideen besides groups like SIMI and Al-Unmah.

Separately, there are indications regarding revival of JeM in Pakistan and renewed efforts of the said outfit to cause harm to India. Besides, the IS and Al-Qaeda in the Indian sub-continent have started posing new challenges to the existing security environment.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 8:23:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/sikh-youth-being-trained-at-isi-facilities-in-pakistan-government/article23311952.ece

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