Maharashtra plans to wean away youth from radicalization trap

Different departments to frame comprehensive policy and CM Fadnavis takes lead

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | November 30, 2015



While the Centre is working on a countrywide de-radicalisation  programme, Maharashtra is readying its own framework on awareness programme and thwart growth of terror. 

The state government is in the final stages of rolling out a policy on de-radicalisation. Confirming the development senior home department officials said that the main objective of this will be to dissuade Muslim youth from following extremist ideology. There are reports of that Muslim youth from Maharashtra are being attracted towards the ideology of Islamic State. 

Last week Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held a brainstorming meeting with various government departments in this regard. 

State urban development, education, higher education, women and child development, labour, and minorities departments among others will be part of policy implementation. The home department will coordinate the counter-radicalisation efforts.

A BJP minister said that while the policy is meant for youth from all vulnerable sections it will have special focus on Muslim-dominated.

The counter-radicalisation strategy will focus on bettering education, healthcare and civic infrastructure in minority-dominated areas to counter the threat-posed by the Islamic State and other fundamentalist groups.

In an acknowledgement of the development backlog in minority-dominated regions the government’s policy speaks of increasing public spending in such regions and making coordinated efforts towards bettering water supply, sanitation, healthcare and transportation facilities in minority dominated belts of the state including Bhiwandi, Miraj ,Melagaon among others.

The policy further states that the government must take steps to “increase access to modern education” in Muslim-dominated backward belts to complement education in madrassas. Further augmentation will be done by the government through measures like - new scholarships to arrest the high drop-out ratio in schools within these regions and providing hostels in every district in the state for young Muslim girls who are interested in pursuing higher education.

The state government also plans to include steps to ensure that women doctors from the community are available in taluka-level government healthcare facilities in such pockets.

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