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South Indian Muslims more attracted to IS, says MoS Home Affairs Rijiju

New Delhi: Banned terror group ISIS may carry out terror strikes anywhere in the country using a single terrorist also known as ‘lone wolf’ to create a mayhem, the government said on Thursday, adding that certain steps have been taken to prevent such nefarious designs.

“Challenges are there. We have to accept that it is a reality. The threat is there,” Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in an interview to a news channel.

He was replying to a question on the possibility of an ISIS ‘lone wolf’ carrying out a terror attack in India on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack. In a statement that has a potential to trigger a controversy, Rijiju said Muslims from the southern states were “attracted” more to the ISIS ideology than their north Indian counterparts.

“It is a reality (some South Indian Muslims getting attracted to ISIS). It is a fact. But we should not undermine our vigil in other parts of the country,” he said. Rijiju said the government has been successful in enhancing security apparatus after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

Asked how the government is prepared to face the challenge of ISIS, the Minister said anything that threatens the security of the country is taken seriously and the Home Ministry’s mandate is to provide security to the people and the country.

On the context of hoisting ISIS flag in Jammu and Kashmir by some anti nationals, the Minister said these were isolated cases and not spread across the state or the country.

Rijiju said some web portals are under watch for their role in spreading the ISIS propaganda, but it is important to note that the servers of the web portals were not located in India.

Asked about the ongoing debate on alleged intolerance, the Minister questioned why these comments were not raked up when there was a mass migration of Northeast people from Bengaluru and Pune or when a student from Arunachal Pradesh was brutally killed on a Delhi street or when someone said that there might be tremor when a big tree falls after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Rijiju said the incidents of communal violence have gone down ever since the NDA government came to power in May 2014.