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Age Debate: The terror honeytrap

Published : Aug 4, 2016, 6:22 am IST
Updated : Aug 4, 2016, 6:22 am IST

Before putting a “terrorist” tag on anyone, we will have to find out from where such people come.

Sonia Madan
 Sonia Madan

Before putting a “terrorist” tag on anyone, we will have to find out from where such people come. Anybody who is a youth is aspiring to do something and becomes a member of many outfits; one of them could be a terrorist organisation. We have no right to call someone a terrorist simply for the act of joining a banned outfit.

Remember, a terrorist is the final product. By becoming a member, you have not become the final product of the banned outfit. It is true terrorist organisations target youth. What about membership Do they (outfits) provide any kind of membership card The answer is no. We will have to understand terrorist organisations are not institutes. They don’t ask people to fill up forms or sign them. They don’t even have any setup. People come in contact with such organisations with a conscious or subconscious mind.

We have to look at the exact circumstances that leads a person to support a terrorist organisation. Most people who join terrorist organisations as supporters are not happy with the government establishment. They are ignorant. We have to find the reason why they were or are being ignored. We all have both kinds of friends — good and bad. The good will teach us only good things. The bad ones will lure us, trap us to fulfil their ambitions and will offer help with an ulterior motive, in order to win our confidence.

And once we support these organisations, we fulfil their ambition. We somehow become a member of such an outfit, but not a terrorist.

In the second phase, the outfit — whether Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Indian Mujahideen or ISIS — would like us to do something for them. In such a situation we will be unable to refuse since we are trapped. The normal approach would be to approach the police, as it is one’s duty. But usually we won’t act out of fear.

So we are exploited and pressured by the terrorist organisation, which will ask us to bring in more members, chat with them via Internet, and organise funds. And the problem is when we are caught, we will be booked under Section 120-B IPC, but won’t be treated as a terrorist.

Take for example, in a van six people are travelling and the driver crushes a man to death. Should all be held guilty of the offence The answer is no.

Here we will also have to look whether someone instigated the driver to crush the man. The instigator should also be brought before the court. On the Internet there is no physical identity. The question is: how many people disclose their true identity It is hard to answer this question. By merely chatting with an unknown person, who is claiming to be XYZ, you cannot become a terrorist.

We cannot call anyone a terrorist until s/he is convicted by the court. We should stop branding people as terrorists solely on the ground that they were in touch with a terrorist organisation and had alleged membership of that outfit.

(As told to Atul Krishan)

Sonia Madan is an advocate

$People can be misled by terror outfits


Any person who has become a member of any terrorist organisation or terror outfit can be called a terrorist. It would be unfair to shield such men and women and to stop us from calling them terrorists. S/he cannot escape by saying s/he was unaware about terrorist activities being carried out by the outfit to which s/he had been supporting knowingly/unknowingly.

The law says that if you have an Indian passport, you are an Indian. If you are a member of a dacoit gang, you are one of the dacoits. If you are a member of a pickpocket gang, you are a pickpocket. This is a very simple rule and easy to understand.

However, when it comes to a terrorist organisation or terror outfit, people claim after being caught that nobody has the right to call them terrorists. People supporting terror activities/unlawful activities by becoming a member of a banned organisation can face prosecution under Section 120-B IPC. If someone is funding ISIS or LeT by any means, then s/he has committed the crime, and is a terrorist because these outfits will use that money to carry out terrorist activities.

If a man is making arrangements to get weapons or ammunition for any terror outfit, he is a terrorist. If somebody is working for ISIS, LeT or IM as part of a sleeper cell, he is a terrorist. A sleeper cell has a unique modus operandi. People keep doing their routine work, and start working for the terror outfit whenever they are approached, and after the task is completed, they again start doing their routine work. Such people are more dangerous and are a threat to the country, and are terrorists.

If somebody is helping a terror outfit to further its ideology, s/he is a terrorist because people after being inspired by the terror ideology will indulge in unlawful activity. After becoming member of a terror outfit, people invite others to join them, so how can that be justified as you are willingly making others members of a terrorist organisation. Any terrorist organisation is like a tree, its every branch will be called terrorist, if you are a branch of this tree by any means, you become a terrorist. After taking membership, people provide information required by the terrorist organisation. In this way they are committing an offence and are helping the outfit to thrive or to be successful in its mission of spreading terror. Such people are terrorists. Even if a man is chatting with someone who belongs to a terrorist organisation, and is working for him in any way, he is a terrorist. He is helping the terror outfit to hatch a conspiracy to carry out illegal activity. He cannot escape merely by saying he was only in touch with such people and was not doing anything. It is our duty to immediately inform the police or the CBI, or any government agency that looks after such matters, about any suspicious organisation and its members. If you are a member of a cricket team, you are a cricketer. If somebody has taken membership of a terror outfit/organisation, s/he is a terrorist.

(As told to Atul Krishan)

Vivek Garg is an advocate and RTI activist

$A terrorist organisation is like a tree