Bhatkal revelation leads central agency to fake passport case

Bhatkal revelation leads central agency to fake passport case

Collects details of two arrested as IM had plans to ‘recruit’ Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar

In the wake of an alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) plan to “recruit” Rohingya Muslims for “jehadi” activities,officials of a central agency Wednesday collected details of the two arrested Myanmar nationals who not only entered India illegally,but also managed to get a fake passport and travel to Sharjah from Pune Airport on September 21.

The immigration branch at the airport had failed to identify their fake passports. However,the two suspects,both Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar,were caught by the authorities at Sharjah and sent back to Pune,after which they were arrested by the city police on September 24. Sources said interrogation of top IM operative Yasin Bhatkal had revealed that the “home-grown” terror outfit has allegedly developed strong links with Al-Qaeda and is now taking up “international tasks”. Sources said besides recruiting youths from India,IM is also eyeing at the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Yasin’s interrogation also suggests that IM is now more inclined towards Al-Qaeda than Pakistan’s ISI. It was allegedly revealed that due to influence of Al-Qaeda leaders,the IM has plans to send the new recruits for “terror training” to Afghanistan via Iran and other middle-east countries,and not via Pakistan,sources said.

The central investigation agency collected details of the two suspects from Myanmar. Their names on fake passports were Ansari Mehboob Alam (24) from Bihar and Gazi Najbul Hasan (23) from Andhra Pradesh. The two allegedly came to India by crossing the porous Bangaldesh border by paying “petty” amounts to “agents” a few months back. They stayed at Deoband in Uttar Pradesh and procured fake passports. They left for Sharjah from Pune Airport on

September 21.


After being sent back to Pune by Sharjah officials,Suryakant Ram (34),central intelligence officer with the immigration branch,Pune Airport,had registered the FIR at the airport police station. The police believe that the Myanmar nationals had gone to Sharjah looking

for jobs.

The family of one of the suspects had reportedly shifted to Dubai due to fear of violence. While,so far no terror links have been established,search has been intensified for the fake passport racketeers who may be linked to terror operatives. They are known to have provided fake passports to more such Rohingya Muslisms

in India.

Sources said the possibility of these channels being used by terror outfits cannot be ruled out. There has been a rise in the number of illegal Myanmar migrants in India after the massive ethnic clashes. Sources said they are “potential recruits” for terror outfits. There are incidents of such Myanmar nationals held by Indian agencies in border areas and they do not speak Indian languages or English. The language barrier had made the interrogation of the two arrested difficult for the Pune police,which sought the help of experts from International Centre of the University of Pune.

The police are now checking the call details of the suspects’ cell phone fore more clues. Both the police and the airport authorities are also probing as to how the airport officials failed to identify the fake passports before they left for Sharjah.

DCP (zone IV) Manoj Patil said,“The suspects are in magisterial custody. But we are probing the case thoroughly and may seek their custody from the court if required.”