This Article is From Oct 25, 2015

Interest in ISIS Growing in Kashmir, More locals Joining Terrorists: Army

Lt General Satish Dua, commander of 15 corps, said a combined effort is being made by all the security agencies to control the trend.

Jammu: There is a growing interest in Kashmir in the Islamic State - the terror group wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq - and a unified effort is on to arrest the trend, Lt General Satish Dua, commander of 15 Corps told NDTV.

"Army is watching the growing interest for ISIS with concern, all the agencies are working at it and it will be controlled", Lt General Dua said. A synergised effort is being made by all the security agencies to control the trend, he said.

In September, a national survey by an intelligence agency showed the state that has the highest internet traffic related to ISIS was from Jammu and Kashmir. The next in line was Assam, where the state police are keeping a strict watch on internet traffic.

Officially, New Delhi maintains that the Islamic State has no significant presence in India and Union minister Kiren Rijiju recently said the government has taken a number of steps to check attempts of extremists groups like ISIS to radicalise and lure Indians.

But facts on the ground don't add up. Six Indians have already been killed in Syria fighting for the Islamic State. Sixty others - engineers, chartered accounts and medical professionals in their ranks -- have been stopped at various Indian airports from going to join the ISIS.

Lt General Dua said there has also been a spurt in the number of local Kashmiris joining the ranks of terrorists.

Giving details about the number of terrorists active in the valley, he said there are 229 at present, 51 of whom are foreign terrorists. "More locals are joining... there are seven foreign terrorists in south Kashmir and 44 in north Kashmir," he said.

The corps commander said the counter infiltration grid is very strong, which is preventing terrorists from crossing into Indian territory. But there will be a desperate bid to infiltrate Kashmir before the mountain passes are blocked with winter snow.

"Almost all the infiltration attempts are getting frustrated. There, however, will be a push by infiltrators - the last-ditch effort before the passes close," Lt Gen Dua added.