NSA, Home Secy write to J&K on IS threat; seek report

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi have sought reports from Jammu and Kashmir on the activities of Islamic State (IS) as direct link has surfaced in the State of three youths arrested from Nagpur following sensational disclosures that they wanted to reach Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) via Kashmir for their onward journey to Iraq and Syria via Afghanistan.
The disclosures have been substantiated with recovery of IndiGo air tickets from Mumbai to Srinagar from the possession of three youths at the time of their arrest.
Official sources told that Jammu and Kashmir Police was in touch with their Hyderabad counterparts and didn’t rule out the possibility of a JKP team visiting Hyderabad to join interrogation of the youth, who had been arrested for second time in the past two years for their attempts to join the IS.
Sources said Doval and Mehrishi have written to five States including Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra seeking details of radicalization of youth towards the IS. Though Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Home Minister Rajnath Singh had recently stated that the Centre has minimized the impact of IS, the Centre wanted all vulnerable States to remain on high alert on the IS threat.
The NSA and the Union Home Secretary have sought details of the steps taken by the police and security agencies of five States to check radicalization and prevent the youth from falling into the trap of IS.
Recently, Jammu and Kashmir Police had detained nine youths in the Kashmir valley, who were inclined towards the IS working as stone pelters. They could be handed over to their families after being reformed.
Sources confirmed that police have recovered one joint ticket of Rs 38,000 from the possession of three arrested youth in Nagpur as they were trying to board IndiGo flight from Mumbai to Srinagar. They reportedly planned to meet pro-Pakistan activist Asiya Andrabi.
They, however, said the youths had planned to reach Iraq and Syria from Afghanistan. They had to cross Line of Control (LoC) from Kashmir to enter Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) to reach Afghanistan from Pakistan border.
Security agencies were trying to establish link between Hyderabad youth and Kashmir militants. In this context, police officers of both the States were in touch with each other and the JKP team could visit Hyderabad to join interrogation of the youth.
Arrested IS aspirants have been identified as Mohammad Abdullah Wasid, Omar Farooq Hussaini and Maaz Hussain Farooq, aged between 20 and 22 years and all residents of Hyderabad.
Wasid was B Tech dropout in third year from Deccan Engineering College, Hyderabad, Maaz was dropout of BE third year in Hyderabad while Hussaini had just completed BSc in Micro Biology.
Sources said last year, they had tried to take West Bengal-Bangladesh-Pakistan route to reach Afghanistan on way to Iraq and Syria but on a tip off Hyderabad police had nabbed all of them from Kolkata. They hadn’t been arrested then but restored to their families after reformation process.
However, this time, the trio has been formally arrested.
Sources said all three had links with banned militant outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
It may be mentioned here that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar during his recent visit to Basohli had told reporters that the Centre Government was trying to minimize the impact of IS in the country. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also spoken on similar lines at Lucknow yesterday.
However, reports said, the Centre was deeply concerned about the increased influence towards IS in various parts of the country and the MHA had been alerting them from time to time.

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