India has sought Iran’s help in tracing 17 persons from Kerala, who have been missing for over a month, and are suspected to have joined the Islamic State (IS). Investigations by Indian agencies have revealed that the 17 Indians, including women and children, travelled till Iran on tourist visas before going off the radar.

Route adopted
The official said the missing persons left India in two different groups about a month ago.One group reached Muscat and the other group reached Dubai. “They took a flight to Tehran from Muscat and Dubai respectively. This might have been done to dodge any suspicion. Since they went on tourist visas and had family members along, nobody suspected them,” said the official.

The official said they were looking at two probable scenarios now. One, the group might have reached Afghanistan, which shares its border with Iran and joined the Islamic State in Khorasan Province.
The other possibility, the official said, was that they have travelled to Iraq and from there on to Syria.

All the missing persons are from Kasargod district in Kerala and their relatives said they had received messages from them that they had reached their final destination — the ‘Caliphate’ that the IS aims to establish.