MHA to house panel: Sikh youths being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistanhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/mha-to-house-panel-sikh-youths-being-trained-at-isi-facilities-in-pakistan-5106339/

MHA to house panel: Sikh youths being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan

Senior ministry officials told the Committee on Estimates that Sikh youths settled in Europe, US and Canada are also being “misguided and instigated against India with false and malicious propaganda”.

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The panel headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi tabled the report — ‘Central armed police forces and internal security challenges-evaluation and response mechanism’ — in Parliament on Monday. (Photo for representation purpose)

SIKH YOUTHS are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan to carry out terror activities in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs has told a parliamentary panel.

Senior ministry officials told the Committee on Estimates that Sikh youths settled in Europe, US and Canada are also being “misguided and instigated against India with false and malicious propaganda”.

The officials also told the panel that some “brain-washed children” participated in stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir “because they were being paid money” or “because of social media pressure”. The panel was told that “when terrorists were killed on July 8, 2016, they were glorified” and sponsors of cross-border terrorism wanted to bring children to the forefront “by hook or by crook”.

The panel headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi tabled the report — ‘Central armed police forces and internal security challenges-evaluation and response mechanism’ — in Parliament on Monday. The report said, “Commanders (of Sikh militancy) based in Pakistan are under pressure from ISI to further ISI’s plans not only in Punjab but also in other parts of the country. Sikh youths are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan. Interrogations have revealed use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pakistan-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks.”

On the issue of new challenges, which have emerged as a threat to internal security, the ministry, in a note furnished to the committee, voiced concern over radicalisation of youths by terrorist groups through the misuse of Internet and social media. “The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers etc. to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Activities of radicalised people returning from conflict areas and threat of lone wolf attack are also a challenge,” it said.

The ministry told the panel that India continues to remain the prime focus of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and a faction of Indian Mujahideen besides groups like SIMI and Al-Unmah. Separately, there are indications regarding revival of JeM in Pakistan and renewed efforts of the said outfit to cause harm to India. Besides, the IS and Al-Qaeda in Indian sub-continent have started posing new challenges to the existing security environment.

The ministry has conveyed to a parliamentary panel that some officers of the BSF were found to be “negligent” over complaints of poor quality food being served to jawans and action has been initiated against “some persons”.

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The admission, by the Union Home Secretary before the Committee on Estimates, bears significance as constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, who had complained about sub-standard food being served to the jawans, was sacked in April 2017 by the BSF, which said he was “found guilty on certain charges of indiscipline including uploading the said video in violation of laid down procedures and rules”.