There are around 3 lakh illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the city and their numbers are only increasing. This was stated by the Bengaluru city police commissioner, Bhaskar Rao, who also added that many were victims of human trafficking and were also being used by those in the construction sector.

While Rao spoke about the population explosion and the rampant activity by illegal immigrants in the construction sector, it is also important to note that these persons are extremely vulnerable and have been used for crimes and terror related activity.

The Ansar-al-Islam:

The National Investigation Agency has learnt that this group called the Ansar-al-Islam, a banned terror organisation from Bangladesh had plans on carrying out several attacks in Bengaluru.

The members of this outfit had carried out a reconnaissance of several places in the year 2019 and the plan was to strike at these public places. The men named by the NIA are Mahmud Hassan alias Shariful Islam and Mohammad Samad Hussain alias Shohan Molla.

Both these persons were detained in Mizoram after they illegally crossed over from Bangladesh. They were then handed over to the Border Security Force. After it was found that these persons had larger plans, the case was handed over to the NIA.

It was established during the probe that Hassan is a resident of District Narsindi, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh and Hussain was from Division Khulna Bangladesh.

Entered as illegal migrants:

After obtaining fake Aadhaar cards from their handlers in Bangladesh, they travelled from Agartala to Bengaluru. They were illegal immigrants but had managed to conceal their identity. They stayed on in Bengaluru for nine months between November 2018 and July 2019.

NIA sources tell MyNation, they mixed with the rest of the illegal immigrants in Bengaluru and with the help of fake documents managed to conceal their identity. We are still ascertaining if more persons from Bengaluru had helped them in their operation. The officer also said that in pursuance to the conspiracy to carry out terror attacks, they conducted a reconnaissance of several public places.

The NIA also found that these persons were planning on going to Tripura and procuring the weapons and other ammunition required to strike the IT Capital of India.

The JMB and ABT too:

Apart from the Ansar-al-Islam, terror groups such as the Ansar-ul-Banglad Team (ABT) and the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) too have infiltrated Bengaluru. While the NIA found that the Anar terrorists had helped the ABT with finances, there are several cases to show the involvement of the JMB.

The arrest of JMB operative Jahidul Islam revealed that he had major plans in South India. He said while in Bengaluru, he had hideouts in Atibele, Kadugodi, KR Puram, Chikkabanavara, Shikaripalya and Electronic City.

During his interrogation he said that he had stored the arms and ammunition at a hideout in Electronic City. He also spoke about how he test fired rocket shells in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu. The arrest of Jahidul led to the nabbing of Abdul Karim and Mustafizur Rehman from a Bengali speaking camp in Mallapuram, Kerala.

The Southern problem:

As pointed out by Bhaskar Rao, the problem is not just in Bengaluru. Illegal immigrants have fanned out across Karnataka and also the rest of South India. Following the blast at Burdhwan, West Bengal, the Intelligence Bureau had in 2015 prepared a report. It said that several illegal immigrants are being roped in by terror groups.

There is a massive exodus of illegal immigrants that is taking place from the North-eastern states, West Bengal. All of them are headed down South, the IB report had also said. They would take shelter in Bengali camps. These camps have become havens for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

An Intelligence Bureau official says that when it comes to South India, the greatest number of touts helping such persons are in Karnataka. This was also revealed when seven Bangladeshi nationals were arrested from a plywood factory in Kerala. The probe into this case revealed that in almost all cases of illegal immigration, it was the touts from Karnataka who had helped these persons move into other parts of South India.

It does not just end with the problem of population explosion and cheap labour. In all cases that are being probed by the NIA, it has been found that these terror groups with the help of illegal immigrants are setting up a large number of modules. It was found that the JMB in particular had the highest number of sleeper cells in Karnataka and Kerala.