The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday said it has detected and arrested 11 Bangladesh nationals living illegally in Nala Sopara town of Palghar district, around 40 km north of Mumbai.
Following a local intelligence tip-off, the ATS swooped on their homes in the Ghaas Road area of Nala Sopara and rounded up the 11 persons on Tuesday.
They are all males aged between 18-57, working and living inconspicuously with the local population since an unspecified time period, the ATS said.
All the accused, whose names have not been disclosed, were produced before the district court on Wednesday which has remanded them to police custody for three days (till Friday).
The ATS investigations revealed that 10 of them hailed from Bangladesh's Satkhira district, which has a border with the Indian state of West Bengal, while one is from the adjoining (to Satkhira) Jessore district.
During interrogation, they confessed to having sneaked into India and none of them could produce any valid travel or immigration documents.
"They had taken the help of some unscrupulous local agents and managed to acquire Indian PAN, Aadhaar cards by submitting false documents, which is now being investigated," an official from Palghar said.
The ATS is now ascertaining how so many people from a single region in Bangladesh managed to sneak in here undetected, who and where their other connections here are, and what were their motives in living on the outskirts of the country's commercial capital.
Also, how they entered the country and how many more illegal Bangladeshis are still around in Palghar and other parts of the state.
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