India: Islamic State unable to gain foothold in the country

AP News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2017 11:37 AM

NEW DELHI (AP) — India's home minister said Saturday that the Islamic State group has been unable to gain a foothold in the country even though India has the world's second-largest Muslim population.

Indian security agencies are keeping a close watch on Islamic State's activities and have been successful in countering the challenges posed by the group, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.

He told reporters in New Delhi that good coordination between state and central security agencies has led to the arrest of more than 90 Islamic State sympathizers in India.

Five members of Indian Mujahideen, an Indian terror outfit, have been sentenced to death, underlining the government's successful efforts to check terrorism, Singh said.

His remarks came amid fears that Islamic State's influence is growing in the region. IS is trying to establish a presence in Asia as it comes under pressure in its heartland in Syria.

Muslims constitute 14.2 percent of India's 1.3 billion people.

"India is the second-largest country as far as Muslim population in the world is concerned. I can say with full responsibility that despite such a large population, (Islamic State) has not been able to gain its feet" in India, Singh said.