Centre plans social media checks to counter IS threatYouths wave IS and Pakistani flags during a protest in Srinagar. file

Centre plans social media checks to counter IS threat

Facilities at police stations across the country to be ramped up02 Aug 2015 | 1:16 AM

NEW DELHI: In its efforts to counter the growing radicalisation of the youth and the threat emerging from the Islamic State (IS), the government has decided to keep tabs on social media websites and applications to check radical, at times false, propaganda.

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 1

In its efforts to counter the growing radicalisation of the youth and the threat emerging from the Islamic State (IS), the government has decided to keep tabs on social media websites and applications to check radical, at times false, propaganda. It has also decided to ramp up facilities at police stations across the country and train the forces accordingly.

The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary LC Goyal and attended by top police and civil officers from 12 states, besides key counterterrorism operatives of central agencies.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will draw up a “blueprint” to counter radicalisation of the youth and possible spread of the IS. As the meeting was on in Delhi, three IS flags were seen fluttering in Mendhar sector along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi is worried as a latest assessment by the US has indicated the IS may attack India to trigger a wider conflict.

The blueprint, expected to stress ‘community initiatives’, would involve religious leaders to prevent radicalisation, said a senior official who attended the meeting. The MHA will also suggest the strategy and means to check the spread of the IS agenda on the internet. “There is a need to not only monitor but also ideologically counter the IS in the cyberspace,” an official said. The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), which also participated in the meeting, shared tools to monitor the internet.

Sources said the MHA’s blueprint would lay down possible “red flags” for state police forces to follow on the ground and track signs of radicalisation.

Ticket bookings are being tracked and 20 youths have been prevented from leaving India for Syria.

The meeting also discussed how to ramp up institutional mechanisms for sharing information. At present, a multi-agency centre sends alert to all states. It was decided to strengthen the capacity building of the police officers in states through training programmes with the help of the central intelligence and security agencies.

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