Kerala's Mohammed Shihab, 30, had met a Karachi girl Sameera when he was working as a house-keeping staffer and fell in love. So did she. They married in 2015. But Sameera's family didn't approve of the match and reportedly forced her to abort her child during her visit to Pakistan. It is around this time, she told the police, that she decided to move to India for good.
It is not clear whose idea it was. But her cousin Khasif Shamsuddin who wanted to marry Kiran Gulam Ali but was facing opposition from parents, also decided to join in.
According to the police, they travelled from Qatar where they worked, to Oman's capital Muscat, from where they took a flight to Nepal. After reaching Patna by road, they took a train to Bengaluru where they lived for nearly nine months before they were caught last night. They also got themselves identity documents on the basis of Aadhaar numbers that they were issued by a local agent who was paid Rs 100 for each number.
"I can tell you the reasons which they have given is that this boy Kerala boy who was working in Qatar fell in love with Pakistani girl," said Praveen Sood, Bengaluru Police Commissioner. The police said they had not yet verified claims that the three had come for love, and not for terror or espionage, so far.
The police reached them after suspicions that a Tamil Nadu-registered car that Mohd Shihab used was stolen. It led the Crime Branch officers to their rented house in south Bengaluru's Kumarswamy Layout locality on Wednesday night. The car belonged to his friend, but this is when the story about the three Pakistani nationals came out.
Natesh, owner of the building where the four lived on rent, said Shihab had been repeatedly told to submit the identity documents but hadn't given them so far. He also complained how he had been pretty irregular with paying the rent. Others in the neighbourhood said the two couples did not raise any suspicion because Mohd Shihab had lived in the locality earlier too, before he went to Qatar.