Following reports of four young men in their 20s missing from their Kalyan residences since May and having joined the jihad or holy war being waged in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Mumbai police have initiated inquiries to check the background of all who have gone missing from Mumbai in the 18-40 years age group.
“After the four boys went missing from Kalyan, I have asked the Anti-Terror Cells (ATCs) of all police stations to look into the backgrounds of all people between the ages of 18 and 40, who have been missing across Mumbai, regardless of their religion,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said.
He, however, refused to disclose the number of people missing. To check for leads regarding the whereabouts of all those missing, ATCs are now making inquiries with the families of missing persons and finding out if they interacted with them before they went missing.
The ATCs were established in police stations last year with a view to look into terror-related inputs at the police station level.
In May this year, Arif Majeed, Fahad Sheikh, Sahim Tankhi and Aman Tandel, all in their mid-twenties, left their residences in the Dudh Naka-Govindwadi belt in Kalyan and never returned. Their last location was traced to Baghdad, from where they had contacted their families and told them they were going for ziarat (pilgrimage) at Karbala, and they dropped out of contact after that. Earlier this month, intelligence agencies received inputs of them having joined the fight in Iraq.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad as well as central intelligence agencies are conducting investigations into the matter.
By: Rohit Alok