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Bharti Jain | TNN | New Delhi | Sep 1, 2015:: The government may claim a “very limited” influence of Islamic State (ISIS) among Indian Muslims, but that has not kept the curious young from closely following its activities and outreach on social media.
If findings of a national survey by an intelligence agency are any indication, the largest volume of internet traffic related to ISIS is being generated not from urban, IT-savvy centres like Bengaluru and Hyderabad but mofussil towns like Chinchwad and Unnao, besides smaller cities such as Srinagar and Guwahati.
Mumbai is the only metropolis among the top six Indian cities/towns reporting online interest in ISIS, ranking fifth after Srinagar, Guwahati, Chinchwad (a suburb of Pune) and Howrah. Unnao near Kanpur in central UP occupies the sixth position, according to results of the “top-secret” survey accessed exclusively by the TOI.
The study – findings of which were placed before a meeting of chief secretaries and DGPs of 12 states convened by the home ministry earlier this month to discuss the growing appeal of ISIS – concluded that Jammu and Kashmir showed the highest social media activity related to ISIS, followed by Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal. UP had more towns/cities than any other state attracting the young to explore ISIS propaganda online.