‘Kalyan youths may have gone to Iraq as mercenaries’

Written By kom nampultig on Sabtu, 19 Juli 2014 | 22.23

KALYAN: The four Kalyan youths suspected to have joined the jihadis in Iraq may not be as ideologically committed as it is being made out to be and may have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) as mercenaries, India's former ambassador to Syria RajendraAbhyankar said on Friday.

"I doubt if the young Indians who have gone there are ideologically committed. There are 1.2 to 1.3 lakh mercenaries fighting in Syria alone, and only 15-20% of ISIS members are ideologically driven. The Indians may be part of the mercenary group," he said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of his talk on 'Civil Wars in Syria and Iraq, ISIS and the 'Caliphate'' organized by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) in the city.

While not altogether denying that the fundamentalist brand of Islam espoused by the Sunni outfit may have played a part in weaning away the youths, Abhyankar said India needed to probe deeper to find out reasons for their disappearance. "Perhaps they knew they'd never get a job with the police or Army here. We need to go to the root of the problem. We have not implemented the Sachar committee recommendations, and Muslims feel they do not get their rightful share in jobs and education," he said.

During his talk, he said there was not merely an intra-Muslim (Shia-Sunni) conflict in Iraq and Syria but an intra-Sunni conflict as well because Al Qaeda and ISIS were ranged against each other, with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declaring himself the Caliph.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Rajendra Abhyankar,Kalyan youths

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