MUMBAI: The Mumbai police are looking for 26 Pakistani nationals who have gone missing from various places in the city.
The development assumes significance against the backdrop of the recent arrests in this city of operatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.
The manhunt was launched after the Mumbai police realized that at least 26 Pakistani nationals had submitted misleading C-forms, the mandatory documents every Pakistani national visiting India has to fill up giving information about the places or persons he or she is likely to visit.
Most of these 26 persons were noticed missing in the past two or three weeks. But one of them was a shopkeeper had lived in the posh Juhu suburb of Mumbai for 10 years.
Police are looking for the missing Pakistanis in hotels and lodges across the state.
The Anti-Terrroist Squad (ATS) of the Mumbai Police is leading the search. However, police officers were reluctant to speak openly about it.
Sources said the ATS believes operatives of Indian Mujahidin (IM) recently conducted a recce of Mumbai. Though the IM’s backbone has been broken, its founders including the Bhatkal brothers from Karnataka are believed to be in the protection of ISI in Pakistan.
The possibility of an Islamic State angle to the missing Pakistanis is being investigated, sources said.