In the Muslim dominated areas of Kalyan — spanning Dudhnaka and Govindwadi — about 40 mosques and 25 Urdu medium schools are subtly creating awareness on radicalisation by terror outfits. Teachers counsel parents during parent-teacher meetings to keep an eye on the teenagers and their mobile phones, and maulanas have been counseling youngsters to not fall prey to bad company.
These are the same lanes from where four Muslim youth — Areeb Majeed, Fahad Shaikh, Saheem Tanki and Aman Tandel — had fled to join the IS in 2014, leaving the neighbourhood in shock. “Nobody thought these four could do something like that. It can happen to any child then,” said local corporator Kashif Tanki.
Every month, during the regular meetings locals have with the police, such issues are discussed to prevent similar incidents. “In mosques, maulanas during their bayaan (sermon) ask youngster to stay away from bad company and stay on guard against someone motivating them in that direction,” Abid Tanki, a local of Dudhnaka, said.
Jawni Jawed, trustee of Masjid-e-mushauddin that overlooks several mosques and burial grounds, said that youngsters are now being roped in for samaritan jobs to divert their attention towards social work. “The departure of those four boys was a one-of-its-kind episode. We don’t think it will happen again, but since everyone was worried, we thought something should be done against terrorism,” Jawed said.
At Jama Masjid, Maulana Zoel Don discusses terrorism during Friday afternoon prayers . “Islam does not permit or support terrorism,” he says to the men attending the sermon, making it clear that the mosque does not support the idea of violence as propagated by IS.
According to families of the four men, they would spend hours on the computer and were radicalised through Internet. Saheem, for instance, would spend entire nights browsing the internet. His parents thought he was just watching movies.
Aman, who was studious, ensured his parents suspected nothing amiss until he joined the IS. Realising that the Internet was the main medium of radicalising the men, schools are asking parents to remain cautious.
In National Urdu High school, where Saheem Tanki was a student, teachers have been talking to students from eighth to tenth standard during classes on the misuses of Internet and how to not get addicted to it.
According to Abid Tanki, teachers are also asking parents to keep an eye on their children at home. “Parents have been asked to know where their child is going at night or what he is doing on mobile phone the whole day,” he said. Locals added they are also getting police cooporation to ensure there is certain amount of vigil on young boys.