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ISIS magazine calls for destroying Idols in India, cover shows ‘beheaded’ Shiva idol of Murdeshwara in Karnataka

BJP MLA Dinakar Keshav Shetty from Kumata, Karnataka, took notice of the image. He shared the image on his Facebook account and urged the government to take appropriate action.

ISIS-backed magazine Voice of Hind has released a new issue with a cover of a computer-generated broken idol of Bhagwan Shiv. Under the idol, the cover says, “It’s time to break false Gods”. Apart from a distorted image of the idol, an ISIS flag was also placed hovering at the apex. The cover has been making rounds on social media platforms raising concerns among the netizens. The idol in the image resembles Bhagwan Shiva’s idol installed in the Shiva temple in Murudeshwara, Karnataka.

BJP MLA Dinakar Keshav Shetty from Kumata, Karnataka, took notice of the image. He shared the image on his Facebook account and urged the government to take appropriate action. In his post in Kannada, Shetty wrote, “It has come to my notice through social media that a magazine ‘Voice of Hind’ of the terrorist organization ISIS has announced to destroy the Shiva statue of Murdeshwara temple. The protection and development of Hindu temples are among the main principles of our party. Our defence department is strong and empowered to act against such threats. The information has already been forwarded to the Home Minister through phone, and additional security will be provided at the Murdeshwara temple soon.”

Voice of Hind and Indian government’s action against the magazine

In February 2020, Al-Qitaal Media Center, a pro-ISIS media outlet and Junudul Khilafah al-Hind launched ‘Voice of Hind’ magazine. According to a report from September 2021 in The Print, National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that the propaganda magazine was being made in a ‘call centre type setup’ in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Qualified graduates and translators work on putting this magazine together.

Initially, it was believed that the magazine originated from Afghanistan, but later with the help of technical experts, they established a link to South Kashmir. The magazine gets edited in Pakistan, and content creators were hired from Maldives and Bangladesh, the report added.

In July 2021, NIA arrested three men from Anantnag, identified as Umar Nisar, Tanveer Ahmad Bhat and Rameez Ahmad Lone, who were accused of collecting and disseminating propaganda content among youth. VOH was being circulated through a complex network consisting of fake online entities and hiding the real identities through VPN. Investigations established links between Indian mobile numbers and those online fake accounts. NIA said that it seized a large number of digital devices such as mobile phones, hard disks, SD cards etc., used in the running of the magazine.

In August 2021, NIA had arrested a key Islamic state operative identified as Jufri Jawhar Damudi alias Abu Hajir Al Badri from Bhatkal, Karnataka. Another operative identified as Ameen Zuhaib was also arrested. These arrests were made in connection to the agency’s probe into VOH magazine.

In October 2021, NIA conducted several raids in Kashmir in connection to the publication of the ISIS propaganda magazine. 

 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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