Four Indians arrested in Syria on suspicion they were planning to join the Islamic State group are actually illegal immigrants, the Indian government reportedly said Wednesday in Parliament.
The Syrian authorties have made "necessary inquiries" and the Indian citizens can be deported to India, Press Trust of India quoted Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh as saying. The Indian Embassy in Damascus met the four men and the work is in progress to bring them back, he said.
"Arun Kumar Saini, Sarvjeet Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Joga/Jagga Singh entered Syria from Jordan on their way to Lebanon for employment without valid visa. They were caught by the Syrian authorities as illegal immigrants," he added.
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al Maoulem, during his visit to India in January, had informed Delhi about the arrest of the four men, saying they had planned to join ISIS.
"Four Indians were taken into Syrian custody in Damascus," PTI quoted Muallem, who is on a three-day visit to India, as saying Wednesday. They "were planning to join the Isis and had entered Syria from Jordan," he added.