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Government monitoring social networks to combat IS threat

Sun, May 08, 2016, 04:31 PM
New Delhi, May 8: The government favours a "carrot and stick" approach to prevent the spread of the Islamic State. Highly placed sources in the home ministry say the security agencies are keeping a strict vigil on the social media activity of the "potential targets" of terror modules.

"The terrorist organisations have been using various social media platforms to spread their propaganda and recruit more footsoldiers for their cause. There is no reason to not believe that they may be setting their eyes on India," a senior home ministry official told IANS.

"It's a two-pronged approach. One is to keep an eye on the social media activity of those who might be the target of terror propaganda. At the same time, the efforts should be made to bring them into the mainstream through welfare and employment schemes," the official said.

Simultaneously, there is an effort to bring youth from the minority community into the mainstream through various sops and employment prospects.

"The youth who do not have anything to do, who are unemployed, may go astray. We have been trying to educate and skill them so that they earn a decent livelihood and enjoy their lives," Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla told IANS.

For implementing this strategy, state governments and their police forces have been asked to pitch in in the effort apart from the central agencies, according to sources.

As for the ministry of minority affairs, it has been asked to implement various welfare and employment oriented schemes, especially in the "vulnerable pockets" of the country and has been allocated Rs.87 crore for this fiscal.

"The ministry has been asked to implement various schemes including those under the Skill India mission in various parts of the country, with a special focus on madrasas," a senior ministry official, who did not wish to be named, told IANS.

At the same time, officials say, with cases of Indian Muslims going to fight for IS in other countries few and far between, there is no major threat as of now, but "why give them a chance?"
Agency: IANS
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