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Who are the Indian militants?

Who are the Indian militants?
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Since the start of the year more than 350 people have been killed in a string of terrorist attacks in India.

Many experts believe the bombings and shootings are increasingly the work of local extremist groups, and no longer uniquely linked to militants from Pakistan or Bangladesh.

Islamist groups have claimed responsibility for the recent strikes, demanding better conditions for the country’s Muslims, who make up 14 percent of the population.

They have also voiced opposition to India’s development of closer ties with the US.

But there are other sources of tension. For example, some Islamists promised revenge after 2000 people, mostly Muslims, died in riots between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.

Expert and author on Islamic issues, Tazeen Murshid, said: “I think it still needs to be investigated to see who this Deccan Mujahideens are, or whether they are just using this name Mujahideen as a way to get attention or to draw a link perhaps with Islamist groups, whether they may be linked up with Afghanistan or the northern frontier of Pakistan or Kashmir.

“What we do see is by attacking Mumbai, which is the economic, financial market of India, they are making a statement, which is that they are willing to weaken India, in order to promote their cause. Definitely they are making a statement to the government of India that certain things are amiss and that they would like the government to take note of it.”

Some experts believe the Indian Mujahideen is linked to an outlawed local group called the Students Islamic Movement of India. Others do suspect links with Islamist organisations based in Pakistan and Bangladesh.