As many as 103 people accused of being Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sympathisers have been arrested across 14 states by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the central counter terrorism law enforcement agency, and other state security agencies, according to government data.

Uttar Pradesh -- India’s most populous state -- reported the most (17) arrests, followed by Maharashtra (16), Telangana (16), Kerala (14) and Karnataka (8), said this reply to the Rajya Sabha (upper house of Parliament) by Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, minister of state for ministry of home affairs, on December 20, 2017.

These states accounted for 69% of all arrests across 14 states.

“Very few individuals [from India] have come to the notice of the central and state security agencies who (sic) have joined ISIS,” Ahir said in his reply to the Parliament.

Telangana had most arrests per 100,000 Muslim population in the state, followed by Uttarakhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Source: Rajya Sabha; Population data from Census 2011; Telangana Statistical Year-Book 2017.

The NIA registered a case against five ISIS sympathisers from Kerala’s Kannur district on December 17, 2017, the Times of India reported on December 17, 2017. The case was registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.

Indian youth are lured by offering house, meat, chocolates and women by ISIS operatives, India Today reported on May 30, 2017.

Over 100 people from Kerala are suspected to have joined ISIS over the years, Kerala police said, India Today reported on November 11, 2017.

ISIS responsible for 25 deaths every day in 2016

ISIS is a designated global terrorist organisation that has recruited thousands of foreign fighters with violent extremist ideology inciting terrorist acts.

ISIS was responsible for most attacks (1,133) and deaths (9,114) by any terrorist organisation in 2016, according to the Country Reports On Terrorism 2016 released on July 2017 by the US Department of State.

ISIS was responsible for nearly 25 deaths -- including perpetrators -- every day worldwide in 2016, up from 17 every day in 2015.

Source: Department of State, United State of America, Note: * Includes perpetrators; ** Excludes attacks attributed to branches of ISIS or ISIS-inspired individuals

Deaths caused by ISIS increased 48% from 6,178 in 2015 to 9,114 in 2016 while persons kidnapped or taken hostage by ISIS increased 74% from 4,805 in 2015 to 8,379 in 2016.

Attacks by ISIS outside Syria and Iraq increased 80% from 44 in 2015 to 79 in 2016.

(Mallapur is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

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