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DGPs meet to focus on community policing as deradicalisation strategy

NEW DELHI,Manan Kumar: At the three-day DGPs annual conference that began in Rann of Kutch on Friday, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in conjunction with the union home ministry will impress upon country’s top cops to gear their police stations located in potential terror breeding grounds for community policing by taking community elders in confidence.

Narendra Modi

With threat of IS and Al Qaeda looming large through Internet and social media, the Centre wants to take up de-radicalisation exercise in a big but subtle way and is of the view that radicalisation can be best fought by helping and empowering communities through increased awareness and education.

Sources said that PM Modi himself along with the national security advisor AK Doval is keen to steer the de-radicalisation programme in which special envoy for counter terrorism and extremism, Asif Ibrahim is playing a lead role. PM Modi is going to be present during all sessions of the DGPs meet.

The IB will also take up the de-radicalisation strategy that it has prepared with the help of key states and union home ministry at the DGPs conference to have their view in improvising it.

Sources said that though the Centre wants to push Sufism, it slowly coming to terms that pushing it too hard can be counter-productive in the present circumstances.

Several Muslim scholars of repute debunk Modi government’s strategy of de-radicalisation by propping up Sufism. The warn government that it is fraught with dangerous consequences and could lead to sectarian wars like West Asia and Pakistan. Officials backing of Sufi and Ahmadi conferences also question credibility and motive of these conferences.

Well-known Islamic scholar, Dr Zafar-ul-Islam Khan, who is also the president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMIM), an umbrella body of Muslim organisations in India, warns the Indian government not to indulge in Sufi adventurism.

“This approach is not new as it has been used by CIA and Israel to disastrous consequences. The highest authentic seat of Islam – Deoband has issued fatwa against ISIS and terrorism. It is against promoting Sufism. By promoting Sufism, the government wants to divide Muslims in two categories. This is not good politics,” says Dr Khan.

Government sources said after reviewing de-radicalisation strategy the focus is on sensitising officials to distinguish between a religious person and a radical individual.

“Engagement with community leaders would ensure that extremism could be combated before it turns into terrorism. The DGPs and IGPs will be sensitised about this aspect to take home the thought and put it as an instrument to counter radicalisation,” said sources.

The meet will also take up upgrading technology of state police and their intelligence gathering agencies like SIB and CID for effective monitoring of online radical activities, which is a hallmark of IS’s recruitment process and being used effectively to indoctrinate and recruit Indian youths.

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