Is the dreaded Islamic State, which controls parts of Syria and Iraq, attempting to help get Indian Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal out of jail?
It appears so as intelligence agencies, who intercepted Bhatkal's phone calls to his wife from a Hyderabad jail, heard him talk of "help from Damascus", the capital of Syria.
The Intelligence Bureau listened to the terrorist make calls to his wife from a high-security cell inside the Cherlapally central prison, and in the five-minute conversation, Bhatkal is heard assuring her that he will soon be out of jail with help from his 'friends in Damascus' and that the two can then move to Syria.
"Allah Tale ke marzi se jaldi hi nikal jaunga, mein nikal jaunga mere Damascus wale dosto ke maddat se. Phir nikal ne ke baad, hum jaldi hi Damascus pahuchenga" (By the grace of Allah, I will be out of jail very soon. My friends from Damascus will help me get out of here. After that we will reach there very soon)," Bhatkal told his Delhi-based wife, according to Hindustan Times.
The reference to Damascus has worried authorities, who believe Bhatkal could be referring to Isis, which has recruited several Indians in the last year.
Agencies are now suspecting if Isis will help Bhatkal through the Ansar-ul-Tawhid Fi Bilad Al Hind (AuT) jihadi group, once a rival of the IM, according to The Times of India.
AuT has helped Isis spread the message of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in India by uploading Isis videos with subtitles in Hindi, Tamil and Urdu.
The Hyderabad prison authorities have, however, dismissed the possibility of Bhatkal making phone calls from prison, though such instances have been reported in the past at the jail.
"It is true that there were some incidents before but it cannot have occurred now. We have stepped out vigil and have sanitised the premises to prohibit such an incident. A phone call from the high security cell where Bhatkal is lodged is just not possible," the director general (prisons and correctional services) Telangana told HT.
The IB's revelations comes days after it reportedly warned police forces across all Indian states to be on a vigil for a possible Isis attack in the country.