Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh, who was recently removed as the party in-charge for Karnataka and Goa, is currently under fire for claiming that the Telangana Police are radicalising youngsters through its fake pages to join the Islamic State group — also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
There have been several cases of Indians — especially youngsters from South Indian states — becoming radicalised and joining ISIS. At least 13 of them are believed to have been killed when the US dropped the "Mother of All Bombs" in Afghanistan last month.
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On Monday morning, Singh took to Twitter to say: "Telangana Police has set up a bogus ISIS site which is radicalising Muslim Youths and encouraging them to become ISIS Modules. [sic]" He added in two other tweets: "It was on their information that MP Police arrested accused who were responsible for the bomb blast in train in Shajapur District of MP. It also resulted in Saifullaha encounter in Kanpur the same day."
Singh also shared an article from a UK article about British MPs saying that "social media firms must face heavy fines over extremist content." He then raised the question: "I agree but what about the Telangana Police which is posting inflammatory postings to radicalise Muslim Youth through their fake ISIS site? [sic]"
The Congress leader then went on to ask whether Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao knew of this, or had even authorised this. He said in a few more tweets: "The issue is whether Telangana Police should be trapping Muslim Youths in becoming ISIS modules by posting inflammatory information? Is It Ethical ? Is it Moral ? Has KCR authorised Telangana Police to trap Muslim Youths and encourage them to join ISIS ? [sic]"
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He also said: "If he has then shouldn't he own the responsibility and resign ? If he hasn't then shouldn't he enquire and punish those who are responsible for committing such a heinous crime ? [sic]"
Singh faced heavy backlash for the comment, of which there seems to be no source. Telangana Information Technology Minister KT Rama Rao said about the statement: "It was an utterly irresponsible remark. I demand that he render an unconditional apology to the Telangana Police."
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Telangana Deputy Chief Minister MM Ali also came down hard on him. What he said in hindi loosely translates to: "Digvijaya Singh has lost it. A person should not remain in politics if his mind is this dirty."
Union Minister of Urban Development Venakaiah Naidu also slammed Singh, saying that what the Congress leader had said was a "bizarre statement on the Telangana Police." He also said: "This is a serious allegation. He must substantiate it or apologise."