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As 2019 gets closer, ISI-urban naxals come together to disrupt elections, change discourse

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    New Delhi, Aug 28: The 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be a keenly watched affair. While all political parties are leaving no stone unturned, the Intelligence Bureau has warned of both internal and external meddling in the election process.

    Two of the biggest dangers that the country faces are from the ISI and the naxals/urban naxals. While the strength of the naxalites has been on the decline, the Intelligence Bureau says that they could still meddle in elections in certain pockets. There is a likelihood of them trying to escalate violence ahead of the polls, the IB also says.

    As 2019 gets closer, ISI-urban naxals come together to disrupt elections, change discourse

    The urban naxals on the other hand would try and build a narrative against the current dispensation.

    Also Read | 2019 Lok Sabha polls: Will smaller parties be game changers?

    The intelligence community says that the narrative is already being built up, but in the days closer to the elections, they would coordinate with outsiders and rake up tensions and violence.

    The intelligence however adds that the Pakistan's ISI would be in top gear to disrupt the electoral process. There are already enough warnings suggesting that the ISI would try and ensure that the local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir is disrupted.

    Meddling with the elections:

    Sources tell OneIndia that the ISI has already put in place a mechanism through which it would try and derail the electoral process. The sudden interest around the Khalistan issue is one such mechanism aimed at de-stabilising the nation.

    Further the ISI would also look to rake up the NRC issue and foment trouble in the north eastern states, the IB warns. The intelligence does not rule out trouble in the north east, West Bengal, Punjab and parts of Uttar Pradesh.

    Also Read | One Nation One Election: BJP has a strategy in place, but will it go through

    Over the past couple of months, Pakistan has used its nationals to target systems in India. There have been instances of spreading fake news, hacking into military systems and also fund anti-nationals to stage protests and trigger tensions between various communities.

    The deadly cocktail:

    Several fake handles were set up by Pakistan and the discourse on these accounts were largely political. The intention was again to create communal unrest and ensure that it became part of the political discourse in India.

    While probing further, various agencies have learnt that there was a direct link between political unrest in India and also a foreign hand. The probe further revealed that the ISI was boosting several social media handles to spread fake propaganda.

    Intelligence Bureau officials say that such handles are created in Pakistan and often speak about intolerance in India and also the situation in Kashmir. This is clearly being done with an intention of changing the political discourse in the country, the officer with the IB tells OneIndia.

    Also Read | Three reasons why India must adopt 'One Nation, One Poll'

    It has always been a part of the strategy by the ISI, but over the past year it has only increased.

    Former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing, Amar Bhushan says that this is an old time strategy by the ISI to break India. He also adds that there are journalists in India too who are on the payrolls of the ISI who write propaganda material in a bid to debunk everything that the government does.

    However the Intelligence points out that the most serious threat is from within. These are the naxalites and their city based friends. They have been the most vocal supporters of the naxal cause and would go to any lengths to spread a false propaganda. While this is a completely internal threat, the Intelligence also says that it is the most dangerous as it is heavily funded from outside.

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