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Youths’ arrest: DGP denies Hyd more prone to IS radicalisation

Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma today denied that the state was more vulnerable to radicalisation by the IS in the wake of arrest of three city-based cousins for allegedly planning to join IS and similar terror groups.

When asked if he thinks that Telangana, and Hyderabad in particular, are more prone to radicalisation when compared to other states, the top cop said, “No it is not like that and it can happen anywhere. Only thing is that we are detecting the (such) cases”.

“As far as we see, we have a large number of people whom we think may have been influenced. But still unless it is confirmed we cannot go ahead with that,” Sharma said while responding to queries on how many youths from the state may have got influenced and radicalised by IS through online.

He said a total of 20 youths who got attracted towards “anti-national activities” through social media were counselled during this year. “With regard to IS, we are alert,” Sharma said.

Police are monitoring them (such persons) on social media, he said, adding “Definitely, we are keeping a close watch on any such persons who are coming to our notice and this a fact that these three youths, we knew about them and once they went there (Nagpur) and we could track them back (to Hyderabad)”.

Mohd Abdulla Basith, Maaz Hasan Farooq and Syed Omer Farooq Hussaini were arrested by Hyderabad Police on December 27 for allegedly planning to join jihadi terror groups and IS.

According to police, they had planned to meet the Kashmiri separatist leader, Asiya Andrabi and seek her help in crossing the border.

They are presently lodged in a jail here.

Asked on de-radicalisation programme by the police, the top cop said, “(In case of) Two of the three youths, we had told their parents to look after them. In fact, the parents went one step ahead and they took their cell phones and I think that frustrated them a bit.

“…The community and the parents are definitely against any such movement which itself goes to say that maximum influence can be given only by the community as well as the family. At the same time, I would also like to say that wherever they transgress with the line we are not going to spare anybody,” Sharma added.