46 still missing: The Islamic State story in India and how it stands
New Delhi, May 07: The suicide bombings in Sri Lanka have raised major concerns in India, especially down south, where the agencies have found a large number of radical elements.
The rise of the Islamic State took place largely in 2014 and since then there has been a constant effort to radicalise several elements in India. The Indian agencies had launched "Operation Chakravyuh," to track the online activities on the group.
In 2014, the interest levels among several Indian youth was high and at the time this operation was launched there were 3,000 on the radar. However effective tracking over the years, brought down the numbers considerably. Barely a year later, the numbers dropped to 140 and at that time the agencies were effectively tracking these elements.
However many who were already radicalised managed to slip out of the country. According to a dossier prepared by the intelligence agencies, 34 reached the Nangarhar province in Afghanistan and 84 reached Syria. Out of the 115, 34 have been deported to India, while 24 and 11 died fighting in Syria and Afghanistan.
Currently the agencies are tracking around 140 persons, who have shown inclination to join the Islamic State. An officer with the Intelligence Bureau tells OneIndia that the operation that they launched in 2014 continues till date.
These numbers are important in the context of the investigations that are ongoing both in Sri Lanka and India. Sri Lanka said last week that the chief of the National Towheed Jamath, Zahran Hashim had travelled to Karnataka, Kerala and Kashmir. It was said that Hashim could have visited India to build links with radical groups and also to undergo training.
The intelligence says that there was a lull in the activities of the ISIS in India, but following the Easter bombings, the buzz on the online channels have increased. The ISIS has been tapping local radical outfits, like the way it did in the case of the NTJ in Sri Lanka.