40 youth missing from Maharashtra; suspected to have joined IM

At least 40 residents of Maharashtra have been missing for last several months, raising fear that they might have gone to Pakistan.

New Delhi: At least 40 residents of Maharashtra, all suspected to be members of terrorist group Indian Mujahideen, have been missing for last several months, raising fear that they might have gone to Pakistan or waiting for opportunities to carry out terror strikes.

Intelligence agencies have found that the youth went missing from their respective homes for months and all of them were having some contacts with known underground activists of IM before their disappearance, official sources said.

The youth were radicalised to join IM and intelligence agencies believe that some of them sneaked into Pakistan for undergoing terror training while some are suspected to be hiding within the country, they said.

Sources said there have been strong suspicion that many youth from states like Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar too might have joined IM and disappeared from their homes. However, a detailed estimate about disappearance of youth from other states is yet to be made.

Apprehensions about IM and its growing activities forced the authorities to hold a special discussion on the banned outfit at the just concluded DGPs/IGPs conference here.

This was for the first time that such a high-level meeting especially focused on home-grown terrorists who are receiving active support from across the border.

Investigators probing the activities of recently busted terror module in Karnataka have found that the handlers of the arrested `terrorists` were based in Saudi Arabia and most of them were Indians and members of IM, sources added.