The three Pakistani nationals, two women and a man, who were arrested on Wednesday night from Kumaraswamy Layout, has opened up the debate about India’s porous borders and the different routes foreign nationals take to enter into India.

Muhammed Shihab, 30, hailing from Kerala’s Palakkad, worked as a cashier at a juice shop in Bengaluru. He left for Qatar in 2012 after he got a job at a private firm there as an office Samira. There he met Samira Abdul Rehman, 25, a Pakistani national from Karachi. The two fell in love and wed amidst opposition from Samira’s family. Shihab returned to Bengaluru while Samira was forced to go back to Karachi by her family.

Another couple, Kashif Shamsuddin, 31 and a cousin of Samira, and Kiran Ghulam Ali, 26, returned along with her. However, Shihab had everything arranged for the trio to enter India without any relevant documents.

The trio managed to leave Karachi and boarded a plane to Qatar. From there they went to Muscat in Oman. They boarded another plane in Muscat to Kathmandu, Nepal. Between Nepal and India, the border is open, it’s mostly unmanned, people can cross anytime, and natives of the two countries are not even required to have a passport to cross by land. This worked for the four. Shihab boarded a flight from Bengaluru and was waiting for the trio in Kathmandu. They then crossed over to India and reached Patna in Bihar. From Patna, they took a train to Bengaluru.

In Bengaluru, Shihab arranged Aadhar cards and election cards for the trio. They had been living here for nine months. 

The matter came to light when the CCB were investigating a car theft and traced it to Shihab. Although Shihab claimed the owner of the car, Hari Prasad, owed him money, further investigations led them to the Pakistani trio including Samira living illegally in Bengaluru. All four have been charged under Sections of Foreigners’ Act, Passport Act, conspiracy and creation of false documents and misrepresentation.

Pakistani nationals have been previously detained trying to cross over to India from Nepal. In 2016, five Pakistani nationals including three children were held by the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) while trying to enter India. They had Pakistani passports and had reached Kathmandu with a Nepali visa. They were on their way to Kashmir.

In 2015, a Pakistani national Javed Kamal, who claimed to be an agricultural scientist, was stopped by the SSB. He reached Nepal via Bangkok, Thailand, and tried entering India by crossing the border on Nepali visa.