NIA gets schol­ars to un­der­stand IS rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTNATION - Ra­jesh Ahuja ra­jesh.ahuja@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The re­searchers, will try to find a pat­tern... in terms of so­cio­cul­tural and fi­nan­cial back­ground of the fam­i­lies the ac­cused per­sons be­long to and also what were the early in­di­ca­tors or causes of rad­i­cal­ism in them.

AN NIA OF­FI­CIAL

NEW DELHI: The Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) has roped in schol­ars from pres­ti­gious in­sti­tutes like New Delhi’s Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity to study in­ter­ro­ga­tion re­ports of Is­lamic State (Is)-in­spired ac­cused un­der its ar­rest to un­der­stand rea­sons for rad­i­cal­ism.

“These re­searchers are grad­u­ates and post-grad­u­ates in sub­jects like crim­i­nol­ogy or psy­chol­ogy and they have been work­ing with our counter-rad­i­cal­ism cell for the past one month,’’ said an of­fi­cial of the fed­eral anti-ter­ror­ism agency. “They have been given in­ter­ro­ga­tion re­ports of over five dozen per­sons ar­rested on the charges of be­ing Is-in­spired.” The NIA of­fi­cial spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Some of the ac­cused were ei­ther ar­rested try­ing to leave the coun­try to al­legedly join the IS or were held af­ter re­turn­ing to In­dia. Some are be­hind bars for al­legedly try­ing to carry out ter­ror strikes in In­dia at the IS’S be­hest.

“The re­searchers, mostly fe­males, will try to find a pat­tern in these cases in terms of the so­cio-cul­tural and fi­nan­cial back­ground of the fam­i­lies the ac­cused per­sons be­long to and also what were the early in­di­ca­tors or causes of rad­i­cal­ism in them,” the of­fi­cial added.

The agency has asked the re­searchers to pre­pare a re­port to sug­gest ways of coun­ter­ing rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion.

“At a later stage, we may al­low these re­searchers to sit in in­ter­ro­ga­tion ses­sions as well to get first hand in­for­ma­tion from the sub­jects,” said the of­fi­cial quoted ear­lier in the story.

As of now, the agency has hired the re­searchers for a year. The Union home min­istry had last year formed a Counter Ter­ror­ism and Counter Rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion di­vi­sion to pre­pare a de-rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion strat­egy and to keep a check on ac­tiv­i­ties of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional ter­ror out­fits.

The gov­ern­ment had in­formed Par­lia­ment last year that 75 peo­ple had been ar­rested on the charges of hav­ing links with the IS or be­ing in­spired by it to form ter­ror mod­ules.

Of­fi­cials said the IS threat con­tin­ues de­spite the group’s rout in Syria and Iraq. The NIA last week ques­tioned eight peo­ple in Hy­der­abad for their sus­pected links with an IS han­dler. The ques­tion­ing took place in con­nec­tion with a case reg­is­tered two years back.

For­mer Ut­tar Pradesh po­lice chief Prakash Singh called the move to rope in the re­searchers an hon­est ef­fort in coun­ter­ing the prob­lem.

“Po­lice of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gate a case with a view to prove the charges in the court and but these re­searchers will look at the back­grounds of the ac­cused per­sons and what led them to the path of ji­had. Once we know the rea­sons, only then we can find ways to counter the prob­lem,” he said.

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