K.V. Subramanya

Police sources say some of them could have returned to their country

Several Bangladeshis have obtained ration cards and voter identity cards

247 Bangladeshi nationals are living in Bangalore

BANGALORE: Even as investigations are on to ascertain the Bangalore links of a Bangladeshi national suspected to be involved in the twin blasts in Hyderabad on August 24, it has come to light that 12 Bangladeshi students have gone missing from the city.

According to a report on foreign nationals living in Bangalore, prepared on June 30, 2007, 12 Bangladeshi students, including a woman, have gone missing from the city, highly-placed sources in the Bangalore police told The Hindu on Wednesday.

The police verified at the addresses furnished by these Bangladeshi nationals to the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO) and found that they were not living there. Subsequently, the police have issued a lookout notice against the 12 students, the sources said.

The sources, however, said that some of these students could have returned to Bangladesh after completing their course. But, the city police have not received any confirmation of their return from the agencies concerned. In all, 247 Bangladeshi nationals are living in Bangalore, the sources said.

The Bangalore angle to the Hyderabad blasts has assumed significance following suspicion that a Bangladeshi national living in Bangalore was involved in the blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat.

During investigations, the Hyderabad police seized a bus ticket from Bangladesh national Ridwan Gazi’s rented room in Kishanbagah and the ticket had been booked in Bangalore. It is suspected that another Bangladesh national living in Bangalore had travelled to Hyderabad from here and he had stayed in Gazi’s room. The police are on the lookout for Gazi and his Bangalore accomplice referred by code name “RR” — Rehmat or Rasheed.

Gazi’s sister Rafsanjani, also a Bangladeshi student, arrested by the Hyderabad police on charges of overstaying, is said to have received a call from Bangalore on her mobile phone. The sources said that a couple of years ago, the Bangalore police had found that hundreds of Bangladeshi immigrants had settled at slums on Millers’ Tank Bund Road in High Grounds police station limits and Laggere in Rajagopalanagar police station limits.

The police enquiries had revealed that several of them had obtained ration cards and voter identity cards. The police had also taken up a survey of such illegal immigrants. But the survey was given up after some time as it was a sensitive issue, the sources said.