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ISI trying to revive Sikh militancy: India

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ISI trying to revive Sikh militancy: India
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New Delhi: India on Wednesday blamed Pakistan for trying to revive Sikh militancy and said youth are being trained in ISI facilities to carry out terror attacks in the country.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said there have been significant developments on the Sikh militancy front and its commanders based in Pakistan are under pressure from the ISI to further the Pakistani intelligence agency’s terror plans not only in Punjab but also in other parts of India.

“Sikh youth are being trained in ISI facilities in Pakistan. Interdictions and interrogations have revealed use of jailed cadres, unemployed youth, criminals and smugglers by Pak-based Sikh terror groups for facilitating terror attacks,” he said addressing the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security.

Mr. Shinde said Sikh youth based and settled in Europe and the U.S. were also being motivated towards militancy and a large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives, including RDX have managed to find its way into Punjab through the borders.

He said a significant quantity of RDX has since been recovered in police action in Rajasthan and Punjab in the last one year.

The Home Minister said India continues to face serious challenges to its internal security scenario from Jihadi terrorists and terror groups were taking advantage of communication channels which have become more sophisticated over a period of time.

“From mobile phones, terrorists today have moved on to use of satellite phones, Thuraya sets, use of spoofed IDs and coded transactions over e-mail and chat sessions, besides Voice over Internet Protocol to communicate across the border,” he said.

The Home Minister said India’s long and porous border with Bangladesh and Nepal have been used by Pak-based jihadi groups to ex-filtrate terrorists out of India for training in Pakistan and induction of terrorist elements, hardware and finance into India.

“Jihadi tanzeems in Pakistan with affiliation to LeT, JeM and IM have set up channels for transfer of funds from Pakistan to India via Gulf and Nepal, besides using Western Union Money Transfer and hawala channel. Moreover, ex-SIMI cadres and similar militant elements based in Gulf have also been observed collecting money for causing destruction in India,” he said.

Referring to Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Shinde said the declining trend in violence continues in the state with 35.29 per cent decline in incidents in 2012 compared to 2011. There has also been a decrease in civilian and security force casualties by 51.61 per cent and 54.54 per cent respectively. The terrorist strength in the Valley has also declined.

“However, the cross border terrorist infrastructure is intact. The training camps continue -- as do the infiltration attempts. Nepal route continues to be exploited for infiltration of militants,” he said.

He said there were reports that terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have come down to 21 from 42 but that needed to be verified.

Mr. Shinde said to combat terrorism, there exists a very close and effective coordination amongst intelligence agencies at the Centre and State level and intelligence inputs about possible designs and threats are shared with the state governments concerned on a regular basis.

“The Multi Agency Centre (MAC) has been strengthened and reorganised to enable it to function on 24x7 basis for real time collation and sharing of intelligence. This has resulted in busting of many terrorist modules and a number of possible terrorist attacks have been averted,” he said.

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