'Hindu State is the only answer to Islamic State': 15,000-strong 'dharma sena' in UP readies for war with terror outfit

In India, an army of 15,000 soldiers are ready to fight the Islamic State. Hindu Swabhiman, an outfit from the outskirts of India's capital to the Uttarakhand border, have trained an army to wage war against the terror organisation. Called the 'Dharma Sena', the outfit is being projected as the symbol of Hindu resistance to the growth of the Islamic State. According to The Economic Times, three training camps have been set up in Meerut and five in Muzaffarnagar district and these are the only known ones. There are others but hidden from the spotlight.

The outfit has enrolled children as fighters. They are being taught how to use firearms and swords. The leaders of the outfit, headquartered at a temple at Dasna in Ghaziabad district, claim their ranks are swelling by the week. Zee News quoted an eight-year-old girl as saying, "I am learning to fight because our mothers and elder sisters are threatened. I have to protect them as well as myself."

Hindu State is the only answer to Islamic State: 15,000-strong dharma sena in UP readies for war with terror outfit

Representative image. AFP

A leader of the outfit, who is also associated with the women's wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Durga Vahini, is quoted in The Times of India as saying, "Our motto is simple – catch them young… Our students are from eight to 30. We don’t give guns and swords to children straight away. For the first six months, we train them mentally … verses from the Gita. Hindus must not be afraid of death, because we are reborn. The children here are fearless."

However, inspector general of Meerut zone Alok Sharma has no idea of such operation being undertaken by the Hindu Swabhiman. "We do not have any report on such activity taking place. I will certainly look into the matter," he said.

At the heart of the group is Swami Narsinghanand Saraswati (born Deepak Tyagi), a Hindu ascetic on whose ideology this 'army' is being built. His hatred for the Islamic State is intense. The investigative team from The Times of India who visited these camps spoke to the Swami and quoted him as saying, "I think an extremist outfit, like the ISIS, should exist for the Hindus. The only answer to the ISIS is an HS — a Hindu State. We want to match their level of extremism and fight fire with fire. I don't have the means to build an organization of that scale but with the help of Hindus, who believe in my cause, I will achieve it soon. We have pistols and they have rocket launchers. We need better weapons so that our army can be trained. That is how the ISIS got so big. Local business leaders helped them. Hindus from all over the country will help us too."

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Updated Date: Jan 21, 2016 19:11:51 IST

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