Press Trust of india

Kashmiri youth being radicalised with misinformation: Army chief

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Pitches for controlling social media

New Delhi, Jan 09 : Claiming that “terrorism is becoming a new form of warfare”, Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat said Wednesday the menace is spreading its head like a “multi-headed monster” and is “here to stay” as long as states continue to use it as a state policy.

Rawat, speaking at a panel discussion at the Raisina Dialogue here, also said that there was a need to control social media as it was becoming a source of spreading radicalisation.

He said a different kind of “radicalisation was being witnessed in India and in Jammu and Kashmir, the youth were getting radicalised due to a lot of misinformation, disinformation, and a lot of falsehoods on religion being fed to them.”

“That is why you find more and more educated youth being drawn into militancy,” he said.

In a clear reference to Pakistan, Gen. Rawat said a “weaker nation” has been “using terrorists as a proxy” to put pressure on other nations to come to terms with them, and warned against tolerating such policy.

“If this is going to happen, then there will be states that will be funding the terrorists and allowing them to move around in the manner in which they want to move,” he said, adding Pakistan has “always kept the Taliban in its backyard”.

He said radicalisation through the social media was a matter of great concern as a lot of people are getting radicalised using the platform.

Identifying social media as a platform to spread radicalism and generate financial resources for terrorism, the Army chief said time has come to put some control over it.

“I think we have a lot to do with the media and the social media which must be controlled. For this if one particular nation starts controlling a particular media, it will be taken as media rights are being curbed.

“Therefore, I think the international community must get together in ensuring that the source of the social media is prevented from spreading false information and disinformation because a lot of funds are coming from people who are getting radicalised,” said Gen. Rawat.

He said radicalisation through social media was also becoming one of the causes for raising of funds by the terrorist organisations.

They are being convinced about the acts of terrorists and the radicalised people are also helping the terror outfits in generating funds, he said.

“My take is that terrorism is here to stay so long as there are nations which are going to continue to sponsor terrorism as a state policy. We are seeing it happening in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“It is a low visibility, high-gain option. This is now becoming a form of warfare. We referred to guerilla warfare some years ago. This is now graduated to terrorism,” he said.

He also said there was definitely a nexus between drugs and guns and unless movement of drugs was controlled, it will be difficult to contain the movement of funds and guns.

The Army Chief said the ISIS has not been able to find its feet in India as in some other countries and attributed it to India’s rich family values and good neighbourhood watch system.

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