Ganderbal youth, on way to join militancy, arrested: Police

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GANDERBAL — Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday said a teenage boy from Shallabugh area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, who was about to join militancy, was arrested.

A police official said that a teenage boy from Shallabugh who was active on social media by misusing Virtual Private Network (VPN) has been found in touch with Pakistan based handlers.

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He further said his Facebook account was kept under surveillance by District Police Ganderbal, who gathered information about his activities and the motivation done by handler to join militancy.

A team of Police Component Ganderbal, Army’s 5RR and CRPF 115 Bn after registration of FIR under number 04/2020 under section 13 ULAP Act, 188 LPC at Police Station Kheerbhawani, arrested the accused person from Shallabugh area and put him under sustained interrogation, he said.

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He added that it was found that the accused is highly radicalized and had uploaded objectionable contents on Facebook, which includes propagation of ISIS ideology.

“He had also joined many groups on WhatsApp who are spreading rumors, radicalizing the youth and propagating hatred against the Indian State. All the social media sites were accessed by the accused through 15 different VPNs,” he said.

Police official further stated that he was ready to join militancy as the Pakistani handler had got established his contacts with militant groups in Shopian. “Timely intervention of Police has saved the youth from joining militancy,” he added.

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The accused is an orphan child, economically very poor and such vulnerable children are identified by Pakistan based handlers to motivate them to join militancy, which is a matter of serious concern, he added.

Meanwhile, police has started a drive across Kashmir against the persons who are misusing the VPNs for their involvement in ‘nefarious and unlawful activities’.

Police official also appealed people not to use VPNs for accessing the social sites. “Legal action shall be taken against all those who violate the government directions and the provisions of law,” the police official said.

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