Maharashtra ATS training de-radicalised youth in vocational skills to provide them with livelihoods

Poverty and unemployment are often cited as the main reasons behind terrorism and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has shown that it is not only aware of this fact but also taking measures to address it.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

A report in Mumbai Mirror said that the state's ATS is training de-radicalised youth in vocational skills to ensure they are not ostracised from the society and are able to get a stable livelihood.

"The foot soldiers used by terrorist groups are those battling poverty. Lack of education and income leaves such people vulnerable to take up the gun in the name of religion," the report quoted a senior ATS official as saying.

Although the ATS has been running a de-radicalisation drive for some years now, the Maharashtra government only recently involved self-employment training institutes run by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) to provide vocational training to youth.

A September report by India Today says that in the past two years, the Maharashtra ATS has de-redicalised at least 70 people who were on the verge of being recruited by terrorist groups.

It has also blocked 450 propaganda websites in the past one-and-a-half years.

The ATS keeps track of recruitment activities and rescues potential recruits at the right time. The people rescued are promised that their identities will be kept confidential.

Counselling then follows, which often takes months, done with the support of family members, religious counsellors and ATS officials.

Updated Date: Oct 13, 2017 15:03 PM

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