India searching ‘Islamic State’ in held-Kashmir

Presence of banners, flags stuns India’s security agencies

SRINAGAR – A massive search has been launched in Indian-held Jammu Kashmir to identify the source of banners and flags of Islamic State – a militant group – that have appeared at three different rallies in the state in the last two months, a private Indian TV channel reported on Friday.

“Although we aren’t yet clear who is behind it, we are concerned about where these are originating from and how these banner and flags have reached Jammu Kashmir,” NDTV channel quoted unidentified ‘senior official’ of the Ministry of Home Affairs as saying.

The channel also reported that the Indian security agencies were understood to have drawn up a list of about 50 possible suspects. “We are still in the process of verifying their antecedents,” the ‘senior official’ said. The Islamic State is a militant outfit, controlling large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Quoting intelligence agency sources, the channel reported that the first reported sighting of the Islamic State flags and banners was on June 27 in Zadibal – a Shia-dominated area in Srinagar. “This was followed by two more incidents on the Eid day,” the channel reported. However, the government officials do not rule out more such incidents going unreported.

The channel quoted Indian intelligence officials as saying that four young boys who left their families in Maharashtra in May and have not returned were recruited online by the Islamic State to fight in Iraq. “We do not rule out possibility of the people exposed to Islamic State propaganda in self-radicalising,” the Indian channel reported.



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