The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday deported four Indians from Kerala suspected to have links with the Islamic State and is expected to send back more people soon, reflecting growing concern in the Gulf country about the IS.
The four people deported were placed under arrest upon their arrival at Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram airports, official sources said.
The Times of India reported that they were allowed to go home after they were questioned and counselled.
Their only connection with the Islamic State seemed to be, according to intelligence sources, that they were part of a group from which a Bangladeshi and Indian who had actually joined Islamic State.
The Bangladeshi had already died while fighting for the IS, while the whereabouts of the Indian are not known, sources told PTI.
The government will take a call on whether to hand over all these cases to National Investigation Agency (NIA), which deals with terror cases, or to leave it to the state police.
However, The Times of India quoted an intelligence official as saying, "Nothing serious has been found against the detained Indians deported so far, though the UAE, as part its policy to strictly deal with those trying to reach out to IS, has decided not to let them live on its soil."
The group told the interrogators, both in the UAE as well as in Kerala, that out of curiosity about IS, they were in touch with the two men who had joined the terror group, the sources said.
They were being joint interrogated by central and state security agencies.
Another batch of four suspects will be arriving soon.
The sources said these nine Indians, with suspected IS links, were identified to UAE authorities who acted promptly.
The deportation comes close on the heels of UAE sending back 37-year-old Afsha Jabeen alias Nicky Joseph who was allegedly involving in recruiting youth for IS.
Earlier in January, Salman Mohiuddin of Hyderabad was arrested at that airport when he was preparing to board a flight to Dubai on way to Syria via Turkey.